A train crash in Egypt killed four people and injured more than 20, officials said Wednesday about the latest in a series of deadly accidents blamed on ageing infrastructure and mismanagement.
The train overshot the station and ran into the buffers at the end of the track after passing through a stop signal, in the Nile Delta city of Qalyub north of Cairo, the National Railways Authority said.
“That led to the derailment of the locomotive and the first carriage,” it added in a statement.
Pictures from the scene showed emergency crews overnight using a crane to lift the derailed coach that appeared to be partially crumpled.
Egypt’s health ministry later gave the final toll of four killed and 23 injured, doubling the number of dead that had been announced overnight.
Families of those killed in the latest train tragedy will receive compensation worth 100,000 Egyptian pounds (around $3,000), said the solidarity ministry.
A similar amount will go to those seriously injured, a statement said.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to hold to account those responsible for recurrent deadly rail accidents in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country.
In April 2021, Transport Minister Kamel el-Wazir fired the rail authority’s head following uproar over mismanagement of dilapidated train lines.
The sacking came after two train accidents within less than a month that killed more than 40 people.
Egypt’s worst railway tragedy occurred in 2002, when a fire ripped through a train killing more than 370 people just outside Cairo.
Egypt’s 105 million people depends largely on rail transport, but the network, although one of the largest on the African continent, is riddled with problems.
After the 2021 tragedies, the transport minister had acknowledged that “the human element” is often to blame for the deadly accidents.
Wazir vowed at the time that an automated network would be set up by 2024 — part of marquee projects promised by Sisi’s administration.
The projects also include the construction of a new high-speed network to replace existing lines for which contracts have been awarded.
Egypt’s roads also see frequent deadly accidents which are often blamed on poor maintenance and rules flouted by drivers.
In 2021, around 7,000 people were killed on Egyptian roads, according to official figures.