CAIRO, 26 March 2021 – At least 32 people have been killed and more than 90 others have been injured in a train crash in the southern Egyptian province of Sohag.
The death toll was provided Friday by Egypt’s health ministry which is following up with victims in hospitals.
The national rail authority said someone activated emergency brakes on one train, causing the train that was following it to hit the first train from behind.
The statement referred to those who activated the emergency brakes as “unknown actors”.
This wording of the statement suggests that Egyptian authorities are not clear whether they suspect sabotage or believe this was an accident.
Video and photos of the accident posted on social media platforms show train carriages derailed above a water channel in the province of Sohag on the banks of the Nile about six hours drive south of the capital, Cairo.
Tens of ambulances rushed to the scene, moving the injured to nearby hospitals.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi promised in a post on his official Twitter page to penalize those responsible for the accident, in what is seen as another strong hint that authorities suspect sabotage.
“The pain in our hearts today will only increase our resolve to end such disasters,” Sisi said.
Experts have blamed frequent accidents on Egyptian rails on poor maintenance of tracks and the lack of investments to upgrade obsolete equipment.