CAIRO — At least 37 people were killed and 123 were injured after two trains collided near the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Friday, in the deadliest episode in years on Egypt’s creaking railway network. .
The accident occurred near the Khorshid train station when a train traveling from Cairo slammed into the back of a train from Port Said, on the Suez Canal, Egypt’s railway authority said.
Photos on social media and published in Egypt news media outlets showed hundreds of people standing outside mangled carriages, several of which had derailed. A number of bodies were laid out on dusty ground beside a field, covered in sheets.
Transport officials cited on state media said one of train suffered a fault that caused it to stop suddenly. The second train then crashed into it. Other officials suggested that a signal fault might be to blame. The health ministry reported that at least 37 people had died and 123 were injured. Egypt’s prosecutor general, Nabil Sadek, ordered an inquiry in the accident.
Egypt’s passenger train network, which has been plagued by poor line maintenance and weak safety standards, has a long record of deadly crashes, fires and collisions at signal crossings.
Friday’s accident was the deadliest since 2012, when a train slammed into a school bus at a crossing 190 miles south of Cairo killing at least 50 people, most of them children. The authorities blamed the accident on a signal operator who had fallen asleep on the job.