(Photo courtesy|Outlook India)
EGYPT — At least 32 people have been killed and over 60 more have been injured after two passenger trains collided in southern Egypt.
The collision has occurred in the southern province of Sohag, some 285 miles south of the capital Cairo.
According to RT, the crash resulted in three train carriages coming off the tracks, and the number of victims has now reached 32, with local news outlets expecting it to climb.
The accident took place between the area of Dafan Al-Sawam and the city of Tahta.
The local Sohag ambulance authority has sent 49 ambulances to the scene.
Hospitals in the region have declared a ‘state of emergency in preparation to receive casualties.
A source told local news website Cairo 24: ‘The number of injuries has exceeded dozens so far, and they have been transferred to Maragha Hospital, Tahta Hospital, and Sohag Hospital.’
Egypt has been plagued with deadly train accidents in recent years that have been widely blamed on inadequate infrastructure and poor maintenance.
One of the deadliest occurred in 2002 when 373 people died as a fire ripped through a crowded train south of Cairo, and there have been many fatal crashes since.
In March last year, at least 13 people were injured when two passenger trains collided in Cairo, triggering a brief suspension of rail services nationwide.
At the time rail managers blamed the crash on signals not functioning in bad weather.
And in February 2019, a train derailed and caught fire at Cairo’s main railway station killing more than 20 people and prompting the transport minister to resign.
Friday’s crash comes as Egypt faces another major transport challenge, with a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal and causing huge traffic jams at either end of the strategic shipping lane.
The MV Ever Given, which is longer than four football fields, has been wedged diagonally across the entire canal since Tuesday, shutting the waterway in both directions.
Tugboats and dredgers were working Friday to free the vessel as companies were forced to re-route services from the vital shipping lane around the southern tip of Africa. (AI|Courtesy|AFP)