17 people were killed and 29 injured after a public bus and a heavy transport truck collided on a desert highway in southwestern Egypt, the health ministry said. The accident occurred on Wednesday, 3 May 2023, on the Assuit-Kharga highway, some 400km southwest of Cairo, in New Valley province that shares a long border with Libya. 26 ambulances were dispatched to the scene to ferry the injured to hospitals.
It was unclear who outside the bus had been hurt or killed and authorities did not elaborate on what caused the crash.
A local daily, El-Shorouk, quoted an unnamed official as saying that the bus slammed into the truck which was “nearly parking” on the road.
It reported that the bus had been carrying 45 people heading to Cairo.
Reckless driving, lax traffic rules and poor road conditions cause many vehicular crashes in Egypt. To reduce congestion and accidents, Egypt launched a road project in 2014 to upgrade 7 000 km of roads. This included the construction or upgrading of 7 000 kilometres of the country's 23 000-kilometre road network, as well as the installation of cutting-edge speed radars and cameras on highways and the introduction of harsher penalties for traffic violations.
Throughout 2021, traffic injuries across Egypt reached 51 511, down from 2020’s 56 789, the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said last year.
According to CAPMAS, road mishaps, however, claimed the lives of 7 101 people nationwide, up from 6 164 deaths recorded a year prior, a 15,2 percent increase.
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