Egypt says 11 people were killed in a train wreck north of Cairo

Passenger trains derailed north of Cairo on Sunday, killing at least 11 people, according to Egyptian officials. In recent years, it was the latest of several railroad accidents that hit the country.

Railroad officials said in a statement that four trains had run off the railroad in the city of Bana in Calubia, just outside Cairo. A video on social media showed that the freight car had fallen and passengers were safely escaping along the railroad.

According to a statement, the train was heading from the Egyptian capital to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said at least 98 people were injured in addition to the dead, most of whom suffered fractures, cuts and bruises.

At least 60 ambulances were sent to the scene and the injured were taken to a nearby hospital, the ministry added.

The rescue team was able to find the survivors and see them removing the derailed wagons. The cause of the train derailment was not immediately apparent. The prosecution said it was investigating the cause of the crash.

Cairo train accident
On April 18, 2021, a doctor carried an injured man at the scene where a passenger train derailed and injured at least 98 people in Bana, Kalubiya Province, Egypt. (Fadel Dawood / AP Photo)

State-owned Ahram reported daily that authorities detained at least 10 railroad personnel, including train drivers and their assistants, until the accident was investigated.

At Banha University Hospital, people were lined up to donate blood to the victims of the crash. Some families were looking for a loved one who was traveling by train.

“I was surprised at the acceleration of tension,” said Tarek Gommer, one of the injured. “We found ourselves on each other.”

The train wreck on Sunday occurred three weeks after two passenger trains collided in Sohag, killing at least 18 people and injuring 200 people, including children.

The prosecution said it had discovered that a gross negligence by railroad personnel was behind the fatal crash on March 25, which caused public protests across the country.

Train accidents and accidents are common in Egypt. In Egypt, the equipment of the railway system was poorly maintained and poorly managed. The government says it has launched an extensive refurbishment and modernization initiative. President Abdel Fatta Elsisi said in March 2018 that the government would need about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $ 14.1 billion, to overhaul the devastated rail system.

Hundreds of train accidents are reported each year. In February 2019, an unmanned locomotive struck a barrier inside Cairo’s main Ramses station, causing a major explosion and fire that killed at least 25 people. Due to the crash, the then Minister of Transport resigned.

In August 2017, two passenger trains collided just outside the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people. In 2016, two commuter trains collided near Cairo, killing at least 51 people.

The most deadly train wreck in Egypt was in 2002, when a night train from Cairo to southern Egypt broke out, killing more than 300 people.

Sammy Maddy