At least 32 people were killed and 66 injured after a collision between two trains in southern Egypt on Friday, reported AP, citing authorities. The accident reportedly took place in the village of al-Sawamaa in Sohag governorate in Upper Egypt.
The incident occurred after someone activated the emergency brakes of a passenger train that was making its way to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The train in which the brakes were pulled had stopped suddenly on the tracks and was then hit from behind by another one. The clash led to two cars in the first train to flip over.
Visuals showed the two cars with trapped passengers amid rubble. Some of the victims could be seen bleeding as locals helped in carrying bodies away from the scene.
Health ministry spokesperson Khaled Mogahed said the number of casualties and those injured was “expected to rise”, adding that 39 ambulances were on the scene and more would reach soon, reported Middle East Eye.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah said he was monitoring the situation after the accident and that the people responsible would be held accountable. In a Facebook post, he also mourned the loss of lives and extended his condolences to the families.
“The pain that is squeezing our hearts today, will only make us insist on ending such a pattern of disasters,” he wrote. “The prime minister and all concerned bodies have directed the incident site, continuous follow-up and all developments and reports regarding the situation throughout the course.”
Deadly train accidents have occurred in Egypt in recent years because of insufficient infrastructure and poor maintenance. In 2002, a major accident killed 373 people as a fire erupted in a crowded train in Cairo. In March 2020, around 13 people suffered injuries when two passenger trains crashed into each other. The incident led to suspension of railway services across the country for a brief period.