Egypt Revises Death Toll From Train Crash Down to 19; Dozens Injured

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Scenes of the crash, which took place in the southern province of Sohag.
Scenes of the crash, which took place in the southern province of Sohag. Credit: Screenshot / Twitter

Two trains collided Friday in southern Egypt, causing three passenger cars to flip over, killing 19 people and leaving 185 injured, Egypt's health minister said in a statement.

The death toll has been revised down to 19, from 32, the minister said on Saturday, and the number of people injured went up to 185 from 165.

Egypt's public prosecutor's office said it had ordered an investigation into the crash, which took place close to the Nile-side town of Tahta, about 365 km (230 miles) south of Cairo.

Dozens of ambulance vehicles were rushed to the scene of the crash, in the southern province of Sohag, said a statement by Egypt’s Heath Ministry.

Local media displayed videos from the scene showing flipped wagons with passengers trapped inside and surrounded by rubble. Some victims seemed unconscious, while others could be see bleeding.

Bystanders carried bodies, laying them out on the ground near the site of the accident.

Egypt’s railway system has a history of badly maintained equipment and poor management. Official figures show that 1,793 train accidents took place in 2017 across the country.

In 2018, a passenger train derailed near the southern city of Aswan, injuring at least six people and prompting authorities to fire the chief of the country’s railways.

In the same year, President Abdel-Fattah Sissi said the government lacks about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the run-down rail system. El-Sissi spoke a day after a passenger train collided with a cargo train, killing at least 12 people, including a child.

A year earlier, 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 took place in 2002, when over 300 people were killed when fire erupted in speeding train traveling from Cairo to southern Egypt.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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