Middle East

Egypt trains collide in Alexandria killing dozens

A general view of people by the wreckage after two passenger trains collided in Alexandria Image copyright EPA
Image caption The crash is the deadliest train accident in the North African country since November 2013

Two passenger trains have collided in northern Egypt, killing at least 41 people and injuring more than 120 others, health officials say.

A number of carriage were derailed by the accident in the coastal city of Alexandria.

Reports said one of the trains had been brought to a halt after a malfunction. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat blamed "human error".

Deadly train accidents in Egypt are rare but not unheard of.

The trains, one travelling from the capital Cairo and the other from Port Said, crashed at about 14:15 local time (12:15 GMT).

One resident, Hoda, was standing on her rooftop when she saw the trains crash.

"They rose in the air forming a pyramid when they collided. I started to scream from the rooftops for people to grab some sheets and run," she said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The causes of the crash are still not known
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Alexandria is a popular destination for tourists in Egypt

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered an investigation into the accident, and the government promised financial compensation to the families of the victims.

The accident is likely to trigger fresh anger over the mismanagement and poor conditions of the country's transport system, BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher reports.

In 2013, dozens of people were killed and when a train crashed into a minibus and other vehicles south of Cairo.

Egypt's deadliest rail accident occurred near the capital in 2002, when a fire ripped through a crowded train killing more than 370 people.

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