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Dozens killed as two trains collide in Egypt

TEHRAN - RAME UIC: The crash occurred at a small station in the district of Khorshid, just east of Alexandria, when one train travelling from the capital, Cairo, hit the back of another, stationary train, travelling from Port Said.

Transport ministry officials quoted on state television said the collision was probably caused by a malfunction in the Port Said train that brought it to a halt.

"The train I was riding was going very quickly," passenger Moumen Youssef told Reuters. "I found myself on the floor. When we came out, we found four train cars crushed and a lot of people on the ground."

Sababa Al-Amin, a civil servant who attended the scene of the crash to help the rescue effort, said the area was difficult to reach for ambulances. "When I arrived at the scene, I found civilians helping passengers. People were screaming and one child was trying to find his mother. There were many bodies around us covered in white sheets."

A local man who wished to remain anonymous said people brought welding materials to the accident site to cut the rails to help get passengers out. "Women brought water and sugar for the injured and locals used their trucks to pull the wreckage," he said.

Egypts transport minister has ordered an investigation into the crash, pledging to "hold accountable" whoever was responsible, state television reported.

It was the deadliest train accident in the north African country since a November 2013 collision between a train and a bus killed 27 people south of Cairo. The victims had been returning from a wedding when the train ploughed into their bus and a truck at a railway crossing.

That accident had happened months after a train carrying military conscripts derailed, killing 17 people, and almost a year after 47 schoolchildren were killed when a train crashed into their bus.

The then transport minister and the head of the railway authority were forced to resign as a result of that accident, which was blamed on a train signal operator who fell asleep on the job.

The government also formed a panel to investigate the incident but that did not prevent further accidents.

Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with chronic transport problems, with roads as poorly maintained as railway lines.

In Egypts deadliest train accident, in 2002, 373 people died when a fire ripped through a crowded train south of the capital.

 


11:30 - 12/08/2017    /    Number : 899    /    Show Count : 195



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