Egypt train crash kills dozens, injures more than 100 people

#EgyptTurmoil

One eyewitness said the two trains mounted into the air 'forming a pyramid' after they slammed into each other

Two-train collision in Alexandria, Egypt (@amrsalama/twitter)
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Last update: 
Friday 11 August 2017 20:40 UTC
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Two trains collided in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria on Friday killing at least 42 people and injuring 133 others, the health ministry said.

The crash, which occured at 2:15 pm local time near the Khorshid station between Alexandria and Cairo, involved one train travelling from Cairo and another travelling from Port Said.

Footage on the state broadcaster showed one train had partly keeled over in the crash, and medics were seen moving the dead and injured to ambulances.

One eyewitness said the two trains mounted into the air "forming a pyramid" after they slammed into each other.

State television, citing transport ministry officials, reported that the crash was probably caused by a malfunction in one of the trains that brought it to a halt on the rails. The other train then crashed into it.

However, a security source said railroad switching error most likely caused the crash, without giving further details.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered authorities to establish who was responsible for the incident.

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

Translation: A live video from an eyewitness, at the site of the two-train crash in Alexandria, shows the magnitude of the incident.

The dead and injured were initially placed on blankets by the sides of the tracks amid farmland on the outskirts of the Mediterranean city.

Wadi told state television that most of the injured have been taken to hospital.

Egypt's 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.

They had been returning from a wedding when the train ploughed into their bus and a truck at a railway crossing.

That accident came 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.

Both the 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 Egypt's deadliest train accident, in 2002, 373 people died when a fire ripped through a crowded train south of the capital.