26 killed as truck plows into bus in Egypt

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CAIRO: At least 26 people were killed in Egypt when a train ploughed into a truck and a mini-bus at a railway crossing early Monday, the health ministry said.

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Another 28 people were injured in the accident, which happened south of Cairo.

Local police chief Kamal al-Dali told state television the mini-bus had been carrying guests home from a wedding.

The head of the Egyptian Railway Authority said the drivers of the vehicles had ignored warning lights and chains blocking entry to the crossing, and tried to go across the tracks.

“The bus stormed the crossing, according to initial reports,” Hussein Zakaria told state television.

“The crossing was closed with chains, [and]there were warning lights,” he said.

The train, whose driver survived the crash, continued for almost one kilometer before coming to a halt, he said.

Egypt’s rail network has a poor safety record stemming largely from lack of maintenance and poor management.

In January, 17 people died when a train transporting conscripts derailed, and in November 2012, 47 school children were killed when a train crashed into their bus.

In Egypt’s deadliest railway tragedy, the bodies of more than 360 passengers were recovered from a train after a fire in 2002.

AFP

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