25 Oct 2009

Egypt train collision claims at least 20 lives

12:05 pm on 25 October 2009

Two Egyptian passenger trains collided on Saturday south of Cairo, killing at least 20 people.

A first-class train filled with passengers rammed into a stationary passenger train that was mostly empty and had been awaiting maintenance but remained on the track.

Passengers trapped in wreckage after a carriage overturned, security sources told Reuters. The moving train was headed south from Cairo toward Assiut and Aswan, a major tourist attraction, though no foreigners were reported among the casualties.

The BBC reports 50 people were injured.

A series of road and rail accidents in Egypt in recent years has triggered an outcry over the government's handling of transport safety.

Saturday's accident took place in al-Ayyat, which in 2002 was the scene of Egypt's worst rail disaster when fire ripped through seven carriages of an overcrowded passenger train, killing at least 360 people.

A train crash in northern Egypt killed 44 people in 2008, two years after a crash that killed 58 people.