CAIRO: Two trains collided yesterday in northern Egypt killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens of others, the health ministry said, the latest in a string of deadly rail accidents in the country. Twelve people died and 39 were injured in the crash between a freight train and a passenger train at Kom Hamada in Behaira province, health ministry spokesman Khaled Mehaged told state television, updating an earlier casualty toll.
Footage aired by the state television showed at least two carriages had derailed in a rural stretch of land. Civilians and medics were seen removing injured passengers and carrying them to ambulances. Health ministry official Alaa Othman told state television that all casualties had been removed from the scene of the accident. The provincial governor Nadia Abdou told AFP that the crash happened at around 1045 GMT and that its cause was “unknown”.
She pointed out that the ministry of transport and the national railways were in charge of the rail facilities in the region. The state prosecutor announced that a team of investigators had been dispatched to probe the accident. While the cause of the crash remains unclear, it comes months after 41 people died in a train collision near the coastal city of Alexandria last August. The train drivers who survived that accident were detained for questioning. Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with chronic transport problems, with roads as poorly maintained as railway lines. – AFP