The latest deadly train crashes comes as the country battles fallout from the Suez Canal traffic jam.
AT LEAST 32 PEOPLE are dead and 66 injured after two trains collided in southern Egypt, the country’s health ministry has said, the latest deadly rail accident to hit the country.
In a statement, the ministry said dozens of ambulances rushed to the scene in the Tahta district of the Sohag province, some 460 kilometres south of the capital Cairo.
“32 people were killed and 66 injured” and transported to hospital, according to the statement.
Video footage seen by AFP showed several carriages overturned.
Egypt has been plagued with deadly train accidents in recent years that have been widely blamed on inadequate infrastructure and poor maintenance.
One of the deadliest occurred in 2002 when 373 people died as a fire ripped through a crowded train south of Cairo. There have been several fatal crashes since.
In March last year, at least 13 people were injured when two passenger trains collided in Cairo, triggering a brief suspension of rail services nationwide. At the time, rail managers blamed the crash on signals that didn’t function properly in bad weather.
In February 2019, a train derailed and caught fire at Cairo’s main railway station killing more than 20 people and prompting the transport minister to resign.
This morning’s crash comes as Egypt faces another major transport challenge, with a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal and causing huge traffic jams at either end of the strategic shipping lane.
The MV Ever Given, which is longer than four football fields, has been wedged diagonally across the entire canal since Tuesday, shutting the waterway in both directions.
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Tugboats and dredgers were working Friday to free the vessel as companies were forced to re-route services from the vital shipping lane around the southern tip of Africa.
© Agence France-Presse