cairo station fire train crash causes deadly blaze

Cairo station fire: Train crash causes deadly blaze

Middle East
Firefighters put out a blaze at Ramses Station in Cairo, Egypt (27 February 2019) Image copyright EPA
Image caption The fire reportedly erupted when a train hit one of the station’s platforms

At least 25 people have been killed and 50 others injured by a large fire at the main railway station in Egypt’s capital Cairo, state TV reports.

The National Railway Authority said a train collided with a concrete buffer stop at the central Ramses Station.

The train’s fuel tank reportedly exploded after the crash, setting a platform and nearby buildings alight.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli visited the scene and said the cause of the collision was not yet known.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption A state-run newspaper said the train’s fuel tank exploded after the crash
Image copyright EPA
Image caption A platform kiosk was engulfed by fire

However, he vowed to punish severely anyone who was found to be negligent.

“We will identify who is responsible for the accident and they will be held accountable,” he said.

Photos and videos posted on social media appeared to show the train and the platform it hit engulfed by fire, as well as people rushing to help the casualties.

“I was standing on the platform and I saw the train speed into the barrier,” witness Mina Ghaly told Reuters news agency.

“Everyone started running but a lot of people died after the locomotive exploded.”

Image copyright EPA
Image caption People gathered outside Ramses Station after the crash

Egypt’s railway system has a poor safety record, which many people blame on a lack of investment by successive governments and poor management.

In August 2017, 43 people were killed and more than 100 injured when two passenger trains collided outside the Mediterranean port city of 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.