Egypt: At Least 11 Killed, About 100 Injured in Train Crash North of Cairo

Egyptian authorities say a passenger train accident Sunday north of Cairo has killed at least 11 people.Railway authorities say that at least four train wagons ran off the tracks at the city of Banha in Qalyubia province.The Health Ministry said in a statement that at least 98 others were injured. Around 60 ambulances were sent to the scene and the injured taken to nearby hospitals, the ministry added.Videos on social media showed railcars overturned and passengers escaping to safety along the railway.The train was travelling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from the Egyptian capital.Soldiers are seen at the scene of a train accident north of Cairo in Egypt’s Qalyubia province, April 18, 2021. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)Salvage teams could be seen searching for survivors and removing the derailed cars. It was not immediately clear what caused the train to derail. Prosecutors said they were investigating the causes of the crash.Last week, at least 15 people were injured when train carriages derailed in the Nile Delta province of Sharqia.Sunday’s train accident came three weeks after two passenger trains collided in the province of Sohag, killing at least 18 people and injuring 200 others, including children.Prosecutors said they found gross negligence by railway employees was behind the deadly March 25 crash, which caused public outcry across the country.Investigators examine the scene after eight rail cars flipped over April 18, 2021, in Egypt’s Qalyubia province. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)Train wrecks and mishaps are common in Egypt, where the railway system has a history of badly maintained equipment and mismanagement. The government says it has launched a broad renovation and modernization initiative. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said in March 2018 that the government needs about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the run-down rail system.  Hundreds of train accidents are reported every year. In February 2019 an unmanned locomotive slammed into a barrier inside Cairo’s main Ramses railway station, causing a huge explosion and fire that killed at least 25 people. That crash prompted the then-transportation minister to resign.Onlookers are seen at the site of Sunday’s train crash north of Cairo. In March, another rail accident killed at least 20 people and injured 200 about 275 kilometers south of Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)In August 2017, two passenger trains collided just outside the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people. In 2016, at least 51 people were killed when two commuter trains collided near Cairo.Egypt’s deadliest train crash was in 2002, when more than 300 people were killed after a fire broke out in an overnight train traveling from Cairo to southern Egypt.Egyptian Minister of Transportation Kamel El-Wazir (C) and several parliamentarians arrived at the scene a few hours after the crash in Qalyubia province, Egypt, April 18, 2021. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA) 

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