At least 42 people have been killed and 133 injured after two trains collided in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandra.
A statement by the Egyptian Railways Authority said a train traveling to Alexandria from Cairo, Egypt’s capital, crashed into the back of another train, which was waiting at a small station in the district of Khorshid, just east of Alexandria.
The stationary train had just arrived from Port Said, a Mediterranean city on the northern tip of the Suez Canal, when it was hit, according to the statement.
State newspaper al-Ahram said earlier that 36 bodies had been taken to hospital morgues in Alexandria province but the death toll was expected to rise as rescue teams worked overnight to pull the dead and injured from the wrecked carriages.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered an inquiry into the crash as the country’s transport minister Hisham Arafat said “human error” led to the collision but did not elaborate.
One resident, Hoda, was standing on her rooftop when she saw the trains plough into each other.
Passenger Moumen Youssef said: “The train I was riding was going very quickly.
“I found myself on the floor. When we came out, we found four train cars crushed and a lot of people on the ground.”
Egypt’s antiquated transport network
Figures showed that 1,249 train accidents took place last year, the highest number since 2009 when the number reached 1,577, according to the state’s statistics agency.
In November 2012, a speeding train crashed into a bus carrying Egyptian children to their kindergarten in the country’s south, killing more than 50 people, mostly children between the ages of four and six.
Two months later, at least 19 people died and more than 100 were injured in a train derailment south of Cairo.
In 2002, a massive fire engulfed a train filled with local holiday travellers.
The train sped for miles, with flames engulfing one carriage after another, killing more than 370 people.
In 2006, at least 51 people were killed when two commuter trains collided near Cairo.
— with ABC/AAP