Photos by Rimon Nash’at
Last Monday saw 14 people dead and 30 injured when a bus they were boarding overturned some 30km southwest
The bells toll
In a highly unusual departure from the norm, a collective funeral was held for the victims on the evening of the same day; funerals and burials are usually conducted in
At , the church bells all over Minya started their heavy tolling until the coffins were brought in at . Funeral prayers were held at the Evangelical church for 12 of the victims, while a funeral for the other two was held at the Coptic Orthodox
Representatives from all the sects in Minya attended the funeral. Rev. Tharwat Qades, head of the Evangelical Nile Synod (the highest authority of the
Rev. Adeeb Wagih prayed for the Lord to remove from the congregation’s hearts the bitterness and grief, and send His comfort to the victims’ families.
When one of the mothers cried loudly ‘we do not want excursions anymore, stop all the excursions’, Rev. Joseph William replied, “The problem is not with the excursions; God chooses the time and manner in which one dies.”
The choir sang: “In the darkness of pain and bitterness of sadness, be my guide O Lord”
Lost them all
“I was awake when the accident occurred,” Moller Azer, one of the survivors, said. “Milad Hanna, the 45-year-old driver, was driving at normal speed. Then I felt an instability in the bus so I clung to my chair and a few minutes later the bus overturned and crashed. I jumped off the bus to find my friends bleeding to death.” Azer sustained several superficial bruises.
Shaher Adly, 34, had come home three days earlier from the
“The crash was purely accidental”, explained Medhat Maurice—head of information and public relations administration at the Coptic Evangelical Association in Minya. “Preliminary investigations say that something went wrong with one of the tyres. The driver Milad Tobia, who works with the association in Minya, has a reputation of caution and integrity.” As to the injured, Maurice said, Mary Attiya’s case was the most pitiful; she lost all her family. She lost her father Mamdouh Attiya, her mother Samia Soliman, her 30-year-old husband Michael Maurice, and her three-month-old baby Bassam.
14 December 2008