Fire engulfed Cairo’s main rail station today after a locomotive slammed into a concrete buffer, causing an explosion. As of mid-day local time the death toll had reached 25, with 50 injured, say reports.
Security sources said there was no indication the crash was deliberate, said Reuters.
An eyewitness told the agency: "I saw a man pointing from the locomotive as it entered the platform, and screaming ‘There are no brakes, there are no brakes’ before he jumped out of the locomotive. And I don’t know what happened to him."
The crash happened in the morning when the platform was crowded with people, the eyewitness said.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli visited the scene and said "We will identify who is responsible for the accident and they will be held accountable," reports BBC News.
The BBC notes that Egypt’s railway system has a poor safety record.
In August 2017, 43 people died when two passenger trains collided outside Alexandria.
The country’s deadliest rail accident occurred near Cairo in 2002, when a fire ripped through an overcrowded passenger train, killing more than 370 people.
"I don’t know when these train accidents will end … They told us they got millions of dollars’ worth of new locomotives and trains, and people are still dying because of train accidents," a student burned in the incident told Reuters today.
Image: Inside the Ramses rail station in central Cairo, 2012 (Peter Astbury/CC BY 3.0)