Trains Collide in Egypt, Killing at Least 32

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Trains Collide in Egypt, Killing at Least 32

CAIRO — Two trains collided in southern Egypt on Friday, killing at least 32 people and injuring more than 60 when several passenger cars overturne

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CAIRO — Two trains collided in southern Egypt on Friday, killing at least 32 people and injuring more than 60 when several passenger cars overturned.

The Egyptian National Railways Authority said “unknown actors” had activated the brakes on one train and another coming from behind crashed into it near the city of Sohag on the Nile.

“The pain that breaks our hearts will only increase our resolve to end such disasters,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said in a post on his official Twitter page. He promised to “penalize whoever was responsible for this painful accident by negligence, corruption without exception or delay.”

The collision came as Egypt was dealing with a crisis on the Suez Canal, where a cargo ship that ran aground has halted traffic for days on one of the world’s main shipping routes.

Egypt’s creaking railways have a terrible safety record, with deadly crashes, fires and collisions at signal crossings a frequent occurrence. Poor maintenance and mismanagement have plagued the railways for years. In 2002, the country’s worst rail disaster claimed more than 300 lives when a fire erupted on a speeding train traveling to Cairo from southern Egypt.

At least 20 people were killed and dozens were injured in 2019 when a train crashed into a platform at Cairo’s main rail station, touching off a fire. A year earlier, a passenger train and a cargo train collided in the Nile Delta north of Cairo, killing at least 12 people. In 2017, two trains crashed near the port city of Alexandria, killing at least 37 people and injuring more than 100.

While investigations and inquiries are often ordered up following the crashes, little has been done to solve the longstanding problems. After one crash in 2018, Mr. Sisi said the government lacked the roughly $14 billion needed to overhaul the run-down rail system.

Anna Schaverien contributed reporting from London.



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