BREAKING: 32 people die and more than 60 injured after two trains collided in Egypt
- Two passenger trains collided in Sohag province, 455 miles south of the capital Cairo
- 49 ambulances rushed to the scene and a ‘state of emergency’ was declared among the hospitals
- Three train wagons collided off the rails
Two passenger trains collided in southern Egypt, toppling three passenger coaches, killing 32 people and injuring 66, health authorities said.
Dozens of ambulances rushed to the site of the crash in Sohag province, some 455 kilometers south of the capital Cairo, according to a statement by Egypt’s health ministry.
Local media showed videos of the scene of overturned carriages with passengers trapped inside and surrounded by debris.
Some of the victims appeared unconscious, while others could see bleeding. Bystanders carried bodies and placed them on the ground near the accident site.
The accident took place between Dafan Al-Sawam area and the city of Tahta.
Sohag’s local ambulance authority has dispatched 49 ambulances to the scene.
The two passenger trains collided in the southern Egyptian province of Sohang, killing 32 and injuring 66
Hospitals in the region have declared a ‘state of emergency’ in preparation for receiving victims.
A source told the local news website Cairo 24: “The number of injuries has so far exceeded dozens, and they have been transferred to Maragha Hospital, Tahta Hospital and Sohag Hospital.”
Egypt has been plagued by fatal train accidents in recent years due to inadequate infrastructure and poor maintenance.
The Egyptian rail system has a history of poorly maintained equipment and management. Official figures show that 1,793 train accidents occurred across the country in 2017.
In 2018, a passenger train derailed near the southern city of Aswan, injuring at least six people and prompting authorities to fire the chief of national railways.
In the same year, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the government was lacking about 250 billion Egyptian pounds (£ 11 billion) to overhaul the derelict railway system. He spoke a day after a passenger train collided with a freight train, killing at least 12 people, including a child.
A year earlier, 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.
The deadliest train accident in Egypt was in 2002, when more than 300 people died when a fire broke out on a train traveling from Cairo to southern Egypt.
Friday’s crash comes as Egypt faces another major transportation challenge, with a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal and causing massive traffic jams at both ends of the strategic shipping lane.
The MV Ever Given, which is longer than four football pitches, has been wedged diagonally across the entire canal since Tuesday, closing off the waterway in both directions.
Tugs and dredgers were at work on Friday to free the ship, as companies were forced to divert services from the vital shipping route around Africa’s southernmost tip.