Train collision in southern Egypt kills at least 32 people

This screengrab provided by AFPTV ahows people gathered around the wreckage of two trains that collided in the Tahta district of Sohag province, some 460 kms south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, reportedly killing at least 32 people and injuring scores of others, on March 26, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)

At least 32 people were killed and 91 injured on Friday when two trains collided on a railway in southern Egypt, the health ministry said.

The collision in the province of Sohag derailed three carriages, according to the health ministry and a local official. It was not immediately clear what caused one train to crash into the back of the other.

Dozens of ambulances were dispatched to the scene to transport casualties to nearby hospitals, the health ministry said in a statement.

The accident comes two years after a major collision at Ramses Station in the capital Cairo killed at least 24 people and injured more, causing an explosion and blaze that engulfed the hall

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Video images circulating on social media showed one of the carriages lying buckled and overturned across the track while onlookers crowded around or clambered over the wreckage to search for survivors.

Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered an investigation into the accident, according to state-owned Nile Television. A statement from the railroad authority said unknown people had released the emergency brakes on one of the trains, causing the crash.

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The accident comes two years after a major collision at Ramses Station in the capital Cairo killed at least 24 people and injured more, causing an explosion and blaze that engulfed the hall.

Accidents are common on Egypt’s railways with several major collisions taking place in recent decades. Egyptians often complain of poor maintenance and safety procedures on aging railroads that connect remote corners of the country.