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At least 32 people were killed and 91 injured in the collision of two passenger trains on Friday. Egypt is regularly the scene of serious rail accidents, due to poorly maintained and poorly supervised rail lines. </p><div> <p>This is yet another rail disaster for Egypt. At least 32 people were killed and 91 injured on Friday March 26 in the midday collision of two passenger trains near Sohag in the south of the country.
“Thirty-two citizens died (…) in the collision of two trains in Tahta, in the governorate of Sohag”, about 460 kilometers south of Cairo, the health ministry said in a statement.
Dozens of ambulances have been mobilized to transport the injured to hospitals and medical reinforcements have been sent from Cairo, according to the ministry, which adds that the number of injured has increased from 66 to 91.
According to a video filmed near the scene of the accident and widely disseminated by local media, several cars overturned on their side, near a canal.
Reacting to the tragedy, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday promised on Twitter a “dissuasive sanction” to anyone found responsible for the collision.
“Anyone who caused this painful accident through negligence or corruption or any other reason must receive a dissuasive sanction, without exception or delay,” wrote the head of state on his Twitter account.
The prosecution also announced in a press release that it had opened an investigation to elucidate the circumstances of the accident.
Several Egyptian television stations on Friday broadcast images apparently taken by cell phones. We see a crowd and rescuers bustling about in the middle of overturned cars and scattered debris.
According to a statement from the Egyptian railway authority, the Luxor-Alexandria train and the Aswan-Cairo train collided after unidentified individuals “applied the emergency brake in several cars” in one of the two trains.
The collision, which resulted in the overturning of at least two wagons, took place “between the stations of Maragha and Tahta”, said the same source, without further details.
Health Minister Hala Zayed is on her way to the scene of the accident “to monitor the state of health of the injured,” according to an official statement.
Egypt is regularly the scene of serious road or rail accidents, due to anarchic traffic, dilapidated vehicles or poorly maintained and poorly supervised roads and railways.
The deadliest rail tragedy in the country’s history occurred in 2002, with a train fire that killed some 370 people some 40 kilometers south of Cairo.
In February 2019, another accident aroused the stir of the population: a train was embedded in a wall of the Ramses central station in Cairo, causing an explosion and a fire in which about twenty people had died.
Following this accident, President Sisi announced the replacement of the Minister of Transport, Hicham Arafat, a civilian, by a general, Kamel el-Wazir.
Friday’s collision in Sohag comes at a time when Egypt faces another major transportation challenge: a 400-meter-long container ship has been blocking the Suez Canal for four days, following a grounding on a crucial route for international sea freight located in the east of the country.
Source site www.france24.com