A train crash north of Cairo on Sunday left 11 dead and 98 others injured, Egypt’s health ministry said in the latest railway disaster that hit the North African country.
The ministry, in an updated toll, said that “11 people were killed and 98 others were injured in a train accident in Toukh”, a small agricultural town in the fertile Nile Delta about 40 kilometers outside the capital.
Egypt’s cabinet said in a statement that four carriages from the train from Cairo to Mansoura, a delta city, came from the tracks.
Dozens of ambulances were sent to the scene, the Ministry of Health added and investigators have been sent to determine the cause of the accident.
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi commissioned the military’s technical authority on Sunday to investigate the latest incident, which came on the heels of a deadly train crash last month that left at least 20 people dead.
The authorities have not yet stated the reason for Sunday’s derailment.
A security source told AFP that the driver and other railway officials had been detained for questioning.
The ministry said 14 people with minor injuries were released from a hospital near the crash site.
Egyptian railway disasters are generally attributed to poor infrastructure and maintenance.
At least 20 people died and 199 were injured last month in a train crash in the south of the country, according to the latest official toll that the authorities have revised several times.
The prosecutor has claimed that the driver of a train and his assistant had both left the cab when it crashed into another train.
Transport Minister Kamel el-Wazir – a former general appointed to the post after a fatal train collision from 2019 – blamed the crash in March on human error.
“We have a problem with the human element,” he told a TV talk show, promising to bring in an automated network by 2024.
The African Development Bank earlier this month announced a $ 170 million loan to improve security on Egypt’s rail network.
The bank said the money would be used “to improve operational reliability and to increase network capacity on national railway lines”.
“The planned upgrades are expected to benefit low – income earners, about 40 percent of the population, who rely on trains as an affordable mode of transport,” the statement said.
One of the country’s deadliest train crashes occurred in 2002, when 373 people died when a fire tore through a crowded train south of Cairo.