[QODLink]
Middle East
Deadly train crash in Egypt
At least 18 people killed after two trains collide southwest of Cairo.
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2009 16:38 GMT

Officials said the trains were travelling on the same track when one of them ran into the other [AFP]

At least 18 people have been killed in a collision between two trains on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Police said at least 36 others were wounded when the trains made contact on Saturday in the city of Al-Ayyat, southwest of Cairo.

The health ministry said the injured were rushed to four medical centres and they were in stable condition.

Dozens of ambulances rushed to the scene, with rescue workers trying to use a crane to lift one wagon from on top of the other to extract more people from the trains.

"The trains were travelling on the same track. One ran into the other as they headed towards Upper Egypt," a security official told the AFP news agency.

'Hitting a cow'

Samhi Saleh Abdel Al, a local resident, told the news agency AFP that "the first train stopped after hitting a cow and 10 minutes later the second train arrived at full speed."

"I was sat near the road at around six o'clock [16:00 GMT] when I heard a deafening screeching, then shouts and I saw passengers jumping from the train," he said.

Al Jazeera's Amr El-Kahky, reporting from the scene, said rescue teams were lifting the train wagons off the rail track.

"It looks like the rescue operation itself has been suspended after rescuers have decided that probably no more people alive are inside these wagons."

In February 2002, Al-Ayyat was the location of Egypt's worst rail disaster. A passenger using a stove set a train alight as it was heading to the south of the country, killing at least 361 people.

Other fatal incidents have occurred when trains have crashed into each other.

"Sometimes there have been court rulings on some of the rail workers on charges of negligence, and the Egyptian government has started a modernisation plan.

"But there seems to be reoccurring issues which must be addressed for these crashes to stop, namely the railway crossings", El-Kahky said.

In July 2008, at least 20 people died in a collision between a train and a bus near the Mediterranean city of Marsa Matruh in northwest Egypt.

At least 58 people were killed and 144 injured in August 2006 when a passenger train slammed into the back of another on the same track, derailing carriages and setting one train ablaze.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.