Fire at central Cairo train station kills 25

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A fiery train crash killed at least 25 people at Cairo’s main station on Wednesday, security and medical sources said, in the latest disaster to strike Egypt’s rundown railways.

The train engine appeared to have slammed into the buffers at the end of the track at high speed, sparking a major blaze at the Ramses station and leaving 40 more people injured.

Egyptian state TV confirmed the casualty figures.

Firefighters were seen hosing down the charred wreckage of the train inside the station, whose walls were left blackened by the fire, as security forces guarded the site.

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

Other photos from the scene showed a thick cloud of black smoke billowing in the station.

Charred objects were scattered on the ground at the scene.

Cairo train station fire. (Twitter)
Cairo train station fire. (Twitter)

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

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

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli was quick to visit the scene, promising a tough response.

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

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 years of negligence and a lack of funds.

The official statistics agency says there were 1,793 train accidents in 2017, up from 1,249 in 2016.

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