At least 19 people were killed, and 185 were injured in a train crash in central Egypt, officials say. Initially, the death toll was 32 and has been revised down to 19. According to Health Minister Hala Zayed, some unconscious victims were wrongly pronounced dead at the scene, so the official death toll was revised downward on Saturday.
On Friday, near the city of Tahta in Sohag province, carriages derailed and overturned amid a collision when two trains collided. One train traveled from Luxor to Alexandria, and the other from Cairo to Aswan in southern Egypt. This incident took place approximately 365 kilometers south of the capital Cairo.
According to President Al-Sisi, an investigation into the crash is underway, and he has promised tough punishment for those responsible. In a tweet, the president said whoever caused this unfortunate event through negligence or corruption or anything close to that must immediately get prohibitive punishment.
Egypt has seen a string of rail accidents over the past few years, and the Friday one being the latest. A lack of maintenance and investment has made it common for the railway system to see accidents.
It was revealed that the train behind crashed into the train in front when its emergency brakes were activated by “unknown individuals.” As recorded on AFP surveillance cameras, a speeding train running down the tracks bashed into another, sending a carriage hurtling into the air. All that was seen was too much dust before the deadly crash.
There are dead people, and even those alive cannot be saved, say witnesses to the incident. Luckily, more than 70 ambulances were dispatched to the accident scene, and they took patients to hospitals from the crash site.
Several families and friends attended the burial service of the first victims early on Saturday.
In a visit to the crash site, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly offered to compensate the deceased’s relatives. Each family that has lost a loved one will be given a cash award of 100,000 Egyptian pounds (around $6,400), and those who have been injured will receive 20,000-40,000 Egyptian pounds.
Egypt’s Ahramonline website reported that the government is committed to helping prevent deadly crashes at railway lines by upgrading such facilities.
While the rail authority faulted an unidentified passenger and unidentified passengers who “activated emergency brakes” in one train for the crash, authorities launched an investigation to determine the accident’s circumstances.
Interrogations would be conducted among two train drivers, their support staff, and the signalman, the prosecution stated. The authorities also intend to perform drug tests on the railway employees and seize their mobile phones to analyze their call logs.
The deadliest train crash occurred in 2002 when a train traveling south of Cairo caught fire, leaving about 373 people dead.
The Cairo city center witnessed another tragic event early on Saturday morning when a building collapsed in the center of the city, killing at least five people and injuring at least 24 others, officials said. Therefore, we need to pray for Egypt as they combat the latest incidents.
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