Egypt: 11 killed in train crash north of Cairo
A passenger train derailed north of Cairo on Sunday, killing at least 11 people, Egyptian authorities said. It was the latest of several rail accidents to hit the country in recent years. Four train wagons ran off the railway at Banha city in Qalyubia province, just outside Cairo. Videos on social media showed wagons overturned and passengers escaping to safety along the railway.
Train was traveling to Nile Delta; at least 98 injured
"The train was traveling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from the Egyptian capital," the railway authority said. The Health Ministry said that besides the dead, at least 98 people were injured, with most of them suffering from broken bones, cuts, and bruises.
Investigations underway to identify the cause of the crash
"At least 60 ambulances were sent to the scene and the injured were taken to nearby hospitals," the ministry said. Salvage teams could be seen searching for survivors and removing the derailed wagons. It was not immediately clear what caused the train to derail. Prosecutors said that they were investigating the causes of the crash.
At least 10 railway officials have been detained
The daily Ahram reported that authorities have detained at least 10 railway officials, including the train driver and his assistant, pending an investigation into the crash. Last week, at least 15 people were injured when train carriages derailed in the Nile Delta province of Sharqia.
Two trains collided on March 25 killing 32 people
The train accident on Sunday came three weeks after two passenger trains collided on March 25 in the province of Sohag, killing at least 32 people and injuring more than 160 people including children, the AFP had reported. Prosecutors said that they found that gross negligence by railway employees was behind the deadly March 25 crash, which caused public outcry across the country.
Government needs $14.1 billion to overhaul the rail system
Train wrecks and mishaps are common in Egypt, where the railway system has a history of badly maintained equipment and mismanagement. The government says that it has launched a broad renovation and modernization initiative. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said in March 2018 that the government needs about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the run-down rail system.
Train accident in 2019 killed 25 people
In February 2019 an unmanned locomotive slammed into a barrier inside Cairo's main Ramses Railway Station, causing a huge explosion and a fire that killed at least 25 people. That crash prompted the then-transportation minister to resign.
Egypt's deadliest train crash in 2002 killed 300 people
In August 2017, 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. Egypt's deadliest train crash was in 2002 when over 300 people were killed after a fire broke out in an overnight train traveling from Cairo to southern Egypt.