Egypt: Over 30 Killed in Passenger Train Collision

Railway tracks

Two passenger trains have crashed into each other leaving more than 30 people dead and more injured.

A collision between two passenger trains in central Egypt on Friday left at least 32 people dead, the Egyptian health ministry said.

A statement from the Egyptian health ministry confirmed that "32 people were killed and 66 injured" and transported to the hospital.

Three passenger cars were flipped over in the collision. Videos from the scene depicted people still trapped inside.

A photo shared on Twitter showed people gathering around a derailed train carriage.

Dozens of ambulances raced to the scene of the crash in the Tahta district of Sohag province, around 460 kilometers (285 miles) south of the capital Cairo.

Egypt's railway authority said that the accident was caused by an unknown individual applying the emergency brakes in the first train which was subsequently hit by the train behind, causing two carriages to derail, Reuters reported.

"The trains collided while going at not very high speeds, which led to the destruction of two carriages and a third to overturn," a security source told Reuters.

Egypt's history of deadly train accidents

Egypt has a history of train accidents caused by poorly maintained equipment and bad management. Official figures recorded 1,793 train accidents in 2017.

One of those accidents left 43 people dead when two trains collided near the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

More than 300 people were killed in Egypt's deadliest train accident when a speeding train caught fire in 2003.

In 2018, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said that the government needed around 250 billion Egyptian pounds ($14.1 billion, €11.97 billion) in order to bring the country's run-down railway system up-to-date.

Egypt has one of the oldest and largest railway networks in Africa.

ab/msh (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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