Two trains crashed on Friday in southern Egypt, killing at least 32 people and injuring 108, according to the Health Ministry. It was the country’s deadliest rail accident since 2019.
Authorities said the crash occurred in Sohag province, about 400 kilometres south of the capital, Cairo.
A statement by the ministry did not give the cause of the crash, but Egypt’s railway authority said the first train’s emergency brakes were triggered by unknown individuals, causing the train to come to a stop.
It was not immediately known whether authorities suspected terrorism or vandalism.
The railway authority said that a train travelling from the city of Luxor in southern Egypt to Alexandria on the Mediterranean made an unscheduled stop in the Tahta area.
Another train, approaching from behind, collided with it, overturning two cars.
The engine car of the second train, which was travelling from the southern city of Aswan to Cairo, was derailed.
The Health Ministry said 36 ambulances rushed to the scene of the collision. Pictures on local media showed train carriages derailed above a channel of water.
Online video and images from the site, a rural area by the side of a canal, showed a chaotic scene, with dozens of civilians and members of rescue teams sifting through the wreckage looking for survivors. Bodies of victims were covered with white sheets and laid next to the wreckage.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi extended his condolences to the families of those killed and said he had sent the country’s prime minister, Mustafa Madbouli, to the site with instructions to keep him updated.
He vowed that anyone found to have caused Friday’s crash, whether through negligence or corruption, would be brought to justice.
“The pain in our hearts today will only increase our determination to put an end to this type of disaster,” he wrote on social media.