August 21, 2006

Egyptian train collision kills 80

By Amr Abdallah

QALYOUB, Egypt (Reuters) - A collision between two trains
killed 80 people and injured 131 on Monday in a Nile Delta town
north of Cairo, a security source said, in Egypt's worst rail
disaster since 2002.

About 25 ambulances rushed to the crash site, along with
hundreds of bystanders and relatives anxious for news of
passengers who might have been killed or injured, a witness
said, adding that damage to the trains was extensive.

The accident took place at about 7.30 a.m. near the town of
Qalyoub, about 20 km (12 miles) north of Cairo, official
sources told the state news agency MENA. They said one of the
drivers had apparently ignored railway traffic signals.

A Reuters photographer at the scene said one of the trains
had derailed and was on its side. It had split into four parts
and there were signs of a fire, he said.

MENA quoted official Egyptian sources as saying the death
toll was at least 20. The crash happened when one train ran
into the rear of another, causing one of them to derail and

It was the worst railway accident in Egypt since 2002, when
about 360 people were killed when fire ripped through seven
carriages of a crowded passenger train.

That accident was the worst in 150 years of Egyptian
railway history, and led to the resignation of the transport
minister and the head of the state railway system.