Cairo: An Egyptian man died and another was injured after train officials forced them to jump from a speeding train for having no tickets, witnesses said, in an incident that sparked an outcry in the country.
The man who died, named by local media as Mohamed Eid, reportedly jumped from a moving train with a second man, Ahmed Mohamed, when the pair were unable to pay a fine of 70 Egyptian pounds (Dh15.94) for travelling without a ticket.
Both were in a train on a journey from the Mediterranean Sea city of Alexandria heading to the southern city of Luxor when rail employees discovered they had no tickets, the witnesses told local media.
The two passengers, who were street vendors returning from Alexandria, were asked to pay the fares and a fine for not having tickets. When they said they had no money, one train official opened the door of the carriage and ordered them to leave the speeding train in the province of Tanta north of Cairo, the witnesses said.
One of the two, identified as Mohammad Eid, was instantly killed while the other lost a leg.
The head of the train and a ticket conductor were arrested and being questioned. They face charges of premeditated killing.
The conductor denied any wrongdoing 'I did nothing and they are the ones who jumped,' he told Egyptian news website Masrawy.
"They opened the door of the train because they did not have the money for the ticket."
The incident has prompted angry reactions online, social media users demanded the resignation of Egypt's Transport Minister, Kamel Al Wazir.
Transport Minister Kamel Al Wazir condemned the act and ordered a rail investigation into the incident.
"The incident is the result of an individual mistake and will not allow it to happen again," the minister told private Egyptian TV station Sada Al Balad. He vowed to punish the employees involved if found guilty. "We are organising training and psychological courses for train ticket conductors on how to treat the public well," Al Wazir added.
He said that his ministry will offer 100,000 Egyptian pounds (Dh22,727) in immediate assistance to the family of the dead man and 20,000 Egyptian pounds (Dh4555) to the injured one.
In recent months, Egyptian rail authorities toughened measures including fines against ticketless passengers in an attempt to augment revenues for revamping the rickety state-run facility.