CAIRO: At least 71 people were critically injured Thursday morning in a train derailment in Beni Suef, 70 miles south of Cairo, Youm7 reported.
Train No. 993 has crashed into a concrete fence causing the locomotive and the front coach to flip over, Youm7 quoted eyewitnesses. The train driver survived the crash and he, along with the injured passengers were transferred to Beni Suef Naser Central hospitals.
The crash occurred around 04:00 a.m. Cairo local time; only less than two hours before the train’s final station. However, the cause of the crash is still unclear.
Television pictures showed several badly damaged coaches, two of which had been lifted up off the tracks by the rescuers. Railway authorities have ordered an investigation into the crash.
Egypt’s 165-year-old railway system, the oldest in Africa and the Middle East with over 3,300-mile network, transports over 1.5 million passengers every day. However, the system is plagued by outdated technology and does not cope with the international safety standards.
An increase in fatal train accidents have been recently witnessed in the country.
Last month, seven people were killed and four injured when a train collided with a mini-truck in Giza’s town of Ayyat.