Egypt: Fire kills 25 at Cairo’s main train station

28th Feb 2019
Egypt: Fire kills 25 at Cairo’s main train station

CAIRO (AA): At least 25 people were killed and 43 injured Wednesday when a fire tore through the main train station in Egypt’s capital, according to the Health Ministry.

The fire broke out when a fuel tank exploded after a train collided with a safety barrier at Cairo’s Ramses Railway Station, according media reports. Photos shared on social media showed clouds of smoke rising from the station.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said most of the dead had yet to be identified.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli has since visited the train station, where he vowed to bring those responsible to account.

Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadek has ordered an investigation into the fire.

Madbouli accepted the resignation of Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, which he tendered in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Turkey offered its condolences to the victims’ families and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

“We are saddened to hear that many lost their lives and were injured in a fire that erupted at the Ramses Train Station in Cairo today,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The accident occurred when the train’s conductor left the control room while the train was moving in order to reprimand another train conductor, Sadek said late Wednesday.

He said police arrested the conductor and have taken his testimony.

Egypt’s railway system has a relatively poor safety record due to poor management and a lack of investment in rail infrastructure.

In 2002, more than 350 people were killed when fire ravaged a passenger train near Cairo.

[Photo: Security forces take security measures at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo’s main railway station on February 27, 2019. Photographer: Ahmed Al Sayed/AA]

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