UPDATE: More than 40 dead in Egypt train collision


A collision between two trains near Alexandria, Egypt on Friday afternoon has claimed more than 40 casualties and injured more than 100 people, health officials have said.

The collision occurred around 14:15 on Friday afternoon near Khorshid station at the edge of Alexandria.

The Egyptian Railway Authority said that the engine of one train and two cars from the other derailed in the collision.

A witness described the collision, saying that the trains rose into the air “forming a pyramid” as they collided.

“They rose in the air forming a pyramid when they collided,” one resident, Hoda, shared. She was standing on her rooftop when she saw the trains collide.

“I started to scream from the rooftops for people to grab some sheets and run,” she said.

According to Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, the collision was caused by “human error”, Al-Jazeera reports.

“In order to avoid it, we have to develop the infrastructure,” Arafat told state television.

Egypt’s roads and railways have a poor safety record, with people long complaining that the government has failed to ensure that basic safety precautions are in place.

A rail collision in February 2016 in Cairo injured dozens, while a 2015 collision between a train and a bus carrying school children – also in Cairo – killed at least seven people.

The country’s deadliest rail tragedy occurred in 2002 when more than 360 people died after a fire ripped through a train.