36 killed as trains collide in Egypt

At least 36 people were killed and over 100 others injured on Friday in Egypt after two trains collided near the coastal city of Alexandria, officials said.

The crash at 2:15 p.m. (12.15 GMT, 4.15pm in Dubai) near the suburban Khorshid station on the route to Cairo, derailed the engine of one train and two cars of the other, the Egyptian Railway Authority said.

A railroad switching error was the most likely cause of the collision, a security source.

He gave no further details.

State newspaper Al-Ahram said 36 bodies had arrived at hospital morgues in Alexandria province. Public prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered an urgent investigation, it said.

“There are currently 109 injured, including critical cases. The injured were transferred to nearby hospitals,” he said.

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The final toll of the victims is still to be announced by the health ministry.

“The rescue team is currently searching for survivals while ambulances are transferring the injured to nearby hospitals,” Magdy Hegazi, undersecretary of the ministry of health, said.

A medical official told state TV some wounded people were still stuck in the trains. Footage on state television showed dozens of people crowding around the damaged train cars, with bodies strewn on the ground.

“The train I was riding was going very quickly,” said passenger Moumen Youssef. “I found myself on the floor. When we came out, we found four train cars crushed and a lot of people on the ground.”

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Train accidents are common in Egypt. In 2016, a train derailed in south of Cairo, killing five people, and injuring 27 people in the al-Ayat area.

Another train derailment in Badr Rashin in Giza killed at least 19 people in 2013.

In 2012, a collision between a train and school bus on a rail crossing in the town of Manaflut in Upper Egypt killed 51 people, mostly children.

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