Fiery Crash At Cairo Train Station Kills 20

Firefighters and onlookers gather at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo’s main railway station on February 27, 2019. The crash killed at least 20 people, Egyptian security and medical sources said. STRINGER / AFP

 

A hurtling locomotive crashed, derailed and caught fire at Cairo’s main train station on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people in the latest disaster to strike Egypt’s rundown railways.

The country’s transportation minister resigned hours after the accident.

The train engine appeared to have slammed into the buffers at the end of the track at high speed, sparking a major blaze that blackened the walls of the Ramses station.

Firefighters were seen hosing down the charred wreckage of the locomotive as security forces guarded the site.

Twenty people were killed and 40 injured, the health ministry said.

Ahmed Ibrahim, a jewelry salesman, said he was on his way to work when he heard a loud explosion.

“I ran to see a lot of people injured. I had to carry a young girl with my own hands,” he said, apparently still in shock.

“I saw bodies cut in half. I’d never seen that … I never thought I’d ever touch dead bodies.”

CCTV footage circulating online showed the locomotive smashing into the barrier without slowing down. People walking on the platform were enveloped by smoke.

Separate footage filmed inside the station showed a fire engulfing the train and a nearby platform and people rushing to help the casualties.

Photos that emerged after the crash showed several scorched bodies scattered around the wreckage.

Several people were seen in videos running around and screaming for help after catching fire.

“I carried around 20 charred bodies to ambulances,” said Atef Ahmed Mahmoud from the Nile Delta city of Zagazig.

Growing Frustration

Later Wednesday, one person was killed and six others wounded in another train accident in El-Alamein, near the northern city of Alexandria, state media reported.

Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with chronic transport problems in the country, where roads are as poorly maintained as railway lines.

Officials often blame the rail network’s poor maintenance on decades of negligence and a lack of funds.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on his government to carry out an investigation and hold those responsible accountable.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli was quick to visit Ramses station and promised a tough response.

“Any person found to be negligent will be held accountable and it will be severe,” he said.

Hours later the cabinet announced that Madbouli had accepted the resignation of Transport Minister Hisham Arafat.

People at the site of the crash appeared to be frustrated at the government’s failure to revamp the railway network.

“Is my fate to die (on the tracks)? It happens all the time … what do the authorities do?” asked a man travelling from the Upper Egyptian province of Minya.

The government has repeatedly promised to take steps to upgrade the sector especially after several derailments and collisions in recent years.

Egypt signed a deal in 2018 worth one billion euros ($1.14 billion) with a Russian-Hungarian consortium to deliver passenger coaches to the country.

The previous year it signed a $575 million deal with General Electric to purchase 100 locomotives.

Still, figures by the official statistics agency show there were 1,793 train accidents in 2017, up from 1,249 in 2016.

In August 2017 two passenger trains collided near Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing more than 40 people and injuring scores.

The next year a train crash in the northern province of Beheira killed at least 15 people and injured dozens more.

Months later Egypt’s transportation minister sacked the head of the railway authority after train derailments including one that injured some 60 people in Giza.

The deadliest accident on Egypt’s railways dates back to 2002 when 373 people died when a fire ripped through a crowded train south of the capital.

20 Killed In Egyptian Train Crash

Firefighters and onlookers gather at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo’s main railway station on February 27, 2019. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

 

A fiery train crash killed at least 20 people at Cairo’s main railway station on Wednesday, Egyptian security and medical sources said.

The accident, which sparked a major blaze at the Ramses station, also injured 40 others, the sources said.

Egyptian state TV confirmed the figures.

The fire broke out after a train crashed into a steel barrier, the sources said.

Photos showed a thick cloud of black smoke billowing around the station. Firefighters were seen hosing down the charred wreckage of the train.

Footage also showed fire engulfing the train and a nearby platform and people rushing to help the casualties.

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Ambulances and rescue teams were dispatched to the site, medical sources said.

“Any person found to be negligent will be held accountable and it will be severe,” Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said as he arrived at the site.

Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with chronic transport problems in the country, where roads are as poorly maintained as railway lines.

The official statistics agency says there were 1,793 train accidents in 2017.

AFP

 

Three Dead, Scores Injured In Italy Train Crash

This handout picture released by the Italian Vigili del Fuoco shows firemen working on the site of a train derailment, on January 25, 2018 near Milan. Three people were killed and 10 seriously injured when a packed regional train derailed near Milan in northern Italy, emergency services said. HO / AFP

 

At least three people were killed and 10 seriously injured when a packed regional train derailed Thursday near Milan in northern Italy, emergency services said.

Hours after the crash, rescuers continued to search for passengers inside the wreckage. One of the carriages was lying across the track, bent almost at a right angle.

About 100 other people sustained light injuries, Cristina Corbetta, an official with the regional emergency services in Milan, told Sky TG24.

She said the incident happened at around 7 am (0600 GMT) near Segrate in Milan’s northeastern suburbs. The cause was not immediately clear.

Many of the passengers were travelling to work in Italy’s economic capital, or were students.

It is the most serious rail accident in Italy since 23 people were killed in a high-speed head-on collision between two passenger trains in July 2016 in the southern Puglia region.

The injured were evacuated on stretchers, with the more seriously hurt receiving first aid in a field near the accident.

Journalists watched from a field about 100 metres away from the site, where three helicopters arrived to rush the injured to hospital while another patrolled the area.

One of the injured could be seen, clothes ripped, covered with a thermal blanket and wearing an oxygen mask being evacuated by helicopter.

The first images released by the fire service showed a passenger trapped in their seat, surrounded by bits of the collapsed ceiling, and part of the wall twisted by the shock.

‘Mummy, Help!’

One woman told the newspaper La Repubblica that her daughter had called her on her phone to say “Mummy, help, the train is derailing” as the accident happened. Since then, the woman said there has been no reply on her daughter’s telephone.

Italian media quoted witnesses as saying the train began to shake heavily as if it was travelling over rocks. Then it braked suddenly and derailed.

Milan prosecutors have opened a probe into the accident, and investigators have begun questioning the driver, Italian media said.

The regional train had left the town of Cremona at 5:32 am and was scheduled to arrive in Milan at 7:24 am.

The train belonged to the Lombardy regional rail company Trenord, which is owned in equal parts by the public company Trenitalia and Ferrovie Nord Milano.

Trenord informed passengers at 8 am of the interruption to services due to a “technical problem”, sparking sharp criticism on social media.

Death Toll In South Africa’s Train Crash Rises To 12

At least 12 people were killed and 180 injured in South Africa on Thursday when a passenger train collided with a truck and burst into flames, an official said, as rescuers searched for survivors.

Images showed a fire engulfing several passenger carriages that were derailed at the scene near Kroonstad, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of Johannesburg.

“The death toll has increased to 12,” provincial government health spokesman Mondli Mvambi told AFP, adding that at least 180 people had been injured, two of them critically.

“It is feared that they could find more bodies as the search, recovery and rescue work is ongoing,” Mvambi said.

Medics gave earlier gave a toll of four people killed.

Black smoke poured from carriages lying on their side close to a road.

Speaking on the phone from the scene of the accident, rail company official Leboho Mokhalipha told AFP that teams were digging through the wreckage in search of any passengers trapped inside.

“There are still some people inside the coaches — the ones that were on fire,” said Mokhalipha.

Some victims were treated at the scene while others were taken to hospital, local media reported, as uninjured passengers walked away from the wreckage, many carrying their luggage.

The New Year is a busy period for transport in South Africa, with railways and roads carrying passengers returning to work after the holidays.

AFP

Four Dead, 40 Injured In S.Africa Train Crash

Jacob Zuma
South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma

At least four people were killed and scores injured in a train crash in South Africa on Thursday, medical services said, as witnesses reported that the train had collided with a truck.

Images showed flames engulfing several passenger carriages that were derailed at the scene near Kroonstad, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of Johannesburg.

“Approximately 40 injured and 4 fatalities at the train crash in Kroonstad area,” the Netcare 911 emergency medical service, which sent paramedics to the scene, said on Twitter.

Black smoke poured from carriages lying on their side close to a road.

Some victims were treated at the scene while others were taken to hospital, local media reported, as uninjured passengers walked away from the wreckage, many carrying their luggage.

The New Year is a busy period for transport in South Africa, with railways and roads carrying passengers returning to work after the holidays.

AFP

Train Crash Leaves 36 Dead In India

india-train-derailAt least 36 people have been killed and many others injured after a train derailed in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, officials say.

According to them, nine coaches and the engine left the tracks near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district.

While many are still trapped in the wreckage and rescuers warn that the death toll could rise, the injured have been taken to the hospital.

Though it has been confirmed that the incident occurred in an area known as a Maoist hotbed, officials are yet to ascertain the actual cause of the crash.

What Happened After Train Crash In Kaduna

Railway corporation, Train serviceA passenger train, carrying soldiers and civilians traveling from Kano to Lagos state is said to have collided with a trailer at a railway crossing in Kaduna state.

Although the train was said to have cut the trailer into two, fortunately, no casualty was recorded.

The Kaduna state FRSC sector Commander, Mr Francis Udoma, said the accident occurred when the driver of the trailer insisted on crossing the rail line even when the train was blaring its horn.

Furthermore, he disclosed that the accident which occurred at Kawo area in the state capital, caused a heavy traffic jam which lasted for over six hours.

Motorists coming from Kano and other northern states, as well as those coming from the southern and the eastern parts of the country were all stranded at the railway crossing, Udoma said.

“We deployed our men, including myself, when we received the call, and arrived there to manage the traffic jam for hours.

“We were there until 9 a.m. before we were able to open the road for motorists to pass through.”

Blaming the trailer driver for the avoidable incident, he said: “It could be that the driver had problem hearing, because trains normally will blare their horns, but this driver, even with the horn decided to cross”.