At least 25 dead after train crash in Egypt

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A train crash in Egypt killed at least 25 people on Saturday, officials said. Varying reports gave the number of injured between 24 and 55. Police officials have warned, however, that the true death toll might be much higher.

The incident occurred in the village of Guerzah, near the city of Giza. Two passengers trains were travelling in the same direction on the same track, when the one in front made an unexpected stop, reportedly after driving over a cow. The train behind it, however, continued cruising at a normal speed until running into the back of the stopped train.

A security official said to the Agence France-Presse news agency that "the trains were travelling on the same track. One ran into the other as they headed towards Upper Egypt."

Tens of ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the accident. A crane was even used by rescue teams to lift a crushed wagon to try and find bodies underneath it.

Railway accidents along Egypt's busy networks are not infrequent. At least twenty people were killed when a bus was hit by a train in northwestern Egypt in July of last year. In August 2006, 58 died and over a hundred were wounded after a train slammed into another one on the tracks. The country's worst rail disaster, however, was in February 2002, when at least 361 were killed after a passenger set fire to a moving train while using a stove.