Egypt punishes train disaster ‘selfie medics’

On Twitter, a user described the selfies taken by medical staff as an act “insensitive to the accident and an irresponsible behavior.” — Courtesy photo

CAIRO — Egypt’s health ministry has punished six medics who took selfies in front of a deadly train wreck by transferring them to a remote part of the country, it said Saturday, following an uproar.

Two trains collided Friday near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing 41 people in one of the deadliest such accidents in the North African country.

Pictures of an ambulance crew taking selfie pictures in front the wreckage sparked anger on social media, with one Twitter user posting a photograph with a hashtag reading: “conscience in a coma.”

Dubbed the “Selfie Medics” by Twitter users, they faced calls for punishment on social media.

The health ministry’s director of emergency services Ahmed Al-Ansari told AFP six members of the ambulance crew have been transferred to the western Siwa oasis as punishment. It was “inappropriate conduct,” he said.

Pictures showed rescuing personnel at the scene capturing selfies using their mobile phones with the collided trains in the background.

On Twitter, a user described the act as “insensitive to the accident and an irresponsible behavior.”

Another Facebook user expressed her shock over the selfie, wondering how the men were able to do that “in the middle of a heartbreaking incident.”

Egypt’s ambulance services had been hailed in the country in the past for their often dangerous jobs tending to demonstrators during the Arab Spring protests of 2011 and their violent aftermath. — AFP