Egypt train crash kills 18, injures 200 people
Two trains collided in the Tahta district of the Sohag Governorate in Egypt on Friday, 26 March 2021. Eighteen people were killed and at least 200 others were injured. The incident was initiated by an unidentified person or persons intentionally triggering the emergency brakes on the leading train; the following train did not stop causing it to crash into it. The incident happened about 365km south of the capital Cairo. One of the trains was travelling between the southern city of Luxor and the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, while the other was travelling between the capital Cairo and the city of Aswan in southern Egypt. More than 70 ambulances were sent to the crash site to take the injured to hospitals.
At the scene of the rail disaster, technicians worked through Friday evening to remove five dislocated and damaged carriages. By morning the crash area was cleared of twisted metal and debris and rail traffic had resumed.
An investigation has been launched into the crash, with President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi pledging tough punishment for those responsible. "Anyone who caused this painful accident through negligence or corruption, or anything similar, must receive a deterrent punishment without exception or delay," he tweeted.
Health Minister Hala Zayed revised down the official death toll on Saturday, saying some unconscious victims had been wrongly pronounced dead at the scene.
Photos from the scene showed carriages overturned near a channel of water.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visited the site of the crash, promising financial compensation to the victims' families. Prime Minister Madbouly said the government would continue to upgrade railway projects to prevent similar deadly accidents, Egypt's Ahramonline website reports.
Egypt has seen frequent accidents on its railway system due in part to poor maintenance and lack of investment.
One of the deadliest train disasters occurred in 2002 when 373 people died after a fire broke out on a train travelling south of Cairo.