A massive inferno erupted at central Cairo’s Ramses train station on Wednesday morning that left 25 people dead and 40 others injured. Egypt’s health ministry said via state controlled media that the deadly explosion occurred after a train collided with the platform and its fuel tank exploded.
Edited by: JV Staff
Initial reports said that the train operator left to fight with another conductor who had blocked his way with the railcar he was driving.
“The driver left the railcar without taking any measures to brake it,” Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said.
Earlier, eyewitness Mina Ghaly told Reuters: “I was standing on the platform and I saw the train speed into the barrier.
Egypt’s Health Minister, Hala Zayed, told reporters in a televised press conference that many of the injured are in a critical condition, with second- and third-degree burns. Thirty ambulances were on site, but people in the area volunteered to take some of the injured to the hospital in their own cars. The deadly incident prompted Egypt’s Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat to resign, according to Al-Ahram.
“People were screaming, and there were calls on the station’s microphone for people to evacuate,” eyewitness Ahmed Ibrahim told CNN. “They told us not to approach the dead. Their bodies were in a pile on the other side.”
“I saw this (injured) girl and I felt she is like my daughter. I carried her out in a blanket,” Ibrahim said.
Another eyewitness, Sami Rafaat, told CNN: “I saw the train speeding as if it were not entering the station but was in a race. Then there were bodies on the platform and on the tracks. They were completely burnt.”
Two eyewitnesses said they saw the driver jump out of the train as it approached the station.
Images posted on social media showed charred bodies at the busy station in the heart of the capital. Other online photos revealed a blackened platform and smoke billowing from the station.
CCTV footage broadcast on local media showed people, some on fire, running away from the platform.
More than an hour after the collision, body parts were still scattered around a restroom near the site of the collision, and marks left by charred bodies stained the platform.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli visited the chaotic scene and said the cause of the collision had not been determined.
“We will identify who is responsible for the accident and they will be held accountable,” he told the BBC.
Egypt has a history of deadly train disasters, with the most lethal one occurring in 2002, when a fire on a passenger train killed more than 320 people.
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