At least 40 killed in train col­li­sion in Egypt

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - MENNA ZAKI

CAIRO — Two pas­sen­ger trains col­lided on Fri­day just out­side Egypt’s Mediter­ranean port city of Alexan­dria, killing at least 40 peo­ple and in­jur­ing about 123, ac­cord­ing to the Health Min­istry, in the coun­try’s dead­li­est rail ac­ci­dent in more than a decade.

A state­ment by the Egyp­tian Rail­ways Au­thor­ity said a train trav­el­ling to Alexan­dria from Cairo, Egypt’s cap­i­tal, crashed into the back of an­other train, which was wait­ing at a small sta­tion in the district of Khor­shid, just east of Alexan­dria.

The sta­tion­ary train had just ar­rived from Port Said, a Mediter­ranean city on the north­ern tip of the Suez Canal, when it was hit, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

The state­ment did not say what caused the ac­ci­dent, say­ing only that the au­thor­ity’s ex­perts would be in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

As­so­ci­ated Press video footage from the scene showed man­gled train coaches on the tracks as hun­dreds of on­look­ers and vic­tims’ rel­a­tives gath­ered around on both sides of the tracks.

Am­bu­lances were stand­ing by and riot po­lice were de­ployed to keep the on­look­ers away from the scene of the dis­as­ter.

Egypt’s rail­way sys­tem has a poor safety record, mostly blamed on decades of badly main­tained equip­ment and poor man­age­ment.

Fri­day’s col­li­sion was the lat­est in a se­ries of deadly ac­ci­dents that have claimed hun­dreds of lives over the years. Fig­ures re­cently re­leased by the state’s statis­tics agency show that 1,249 train ac­ci­dents took place last year, the high­est num­ber since 2009 when the num­ber reached 1,577.

Fri­day’s crash was the dead­li­est rail ac­ci­dent since 2006, when at least 51 peo­ple were killed when two trains col­lided near Cairo.

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