At least 32 people have been killed and 165 injured when two trains collided in central Egypt on Friday, officials say. The damage caused by the collision between the two trains is huge with serious injuries according to health ministry officials, as the prime minister acknowledged that the country’s railway line urgently needs to be modernized.
Officials added that “Unidentified individuals” triggered the emergency brake on one of the trains, causing it to stop, the train said. A second train traveling in the same direction crashed into the rear, she added. Pictures show derailed trains, several of which were badly damaged, above a canal, as people watched.
A preliminary investigation has been launched into the crash, with President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi promising harsher punishment for those behind it. “Anyone who has caused this painful accident of negligence or corruption, or something similar, should be punished and not excluded or postponed,” he wrote on Twitter.
The country’s railway authorities said the emergency brakes were operated by “unknown people” in front of the train, causing the train to fall behind. Health Minister HalaZayed reviewed the official death toll on Saturday, saying some unconscious victims had been misinformed at the scene.
Railway authorities said one train collided with the other, causing at least two vehicles to overturn between Maragha and Tahta stations.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister MostafaMadbouli said the government would pay 100,000 Egyptian pounds (approximately $ 6,400) for each family member who lost a loved one and between 20,000 and 40,000 pounds for those injured. They offered their condolences to the families of the victims.
The government has spent “hundreds of billions of pounds” repairing the railway system over the past four years, he said, acknowledging that the network has “suffered decades of neglect”.