Cairo: Express train horror

14 to 17 injured in express train crash in Cairo, Egypt, Health Ministry confirms. All patients satisfactory, taken to hospital mainly with cuts and bruises. Initial reports of 4 dead and 70 injured reported by western press seem exaggerated.

The train was travelling from Cairo to the Province of Sohag on Tuesday when it derailed near Giza, around 30 kilometers from the Egyptian capital. Five carriages of the express train derailed and caught fire.

Eye witnesses say that the cause of the derailment was the track switch which was wrongly placed, causing the read of the express train to crash into the stopped passenger train which had stopped at the railway station minutes earlier. The incident is being investigated by Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud.The incident proves how much needs to be done to modernise Egypt's railway system, a programme started by Hosni Mubarak and interrupted due to political upheaval in the country. It also shows quite how weak reporting can be, sending out reports of deaths and injuries just to catch the headlines, without checking the data.

In October 2009, 22 were willed and 42 injured when passanger trains collided in a Cairo suburb.

Timofei Belov


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