Toll in Qalyoub train crash rises to four dead, 23 injured

Ahram Online , Wednesday 8 Mar 2023

Casualties in the Egyptian Nile Delta train accident have increased to four deaths and 23 injuries, the Ministry of Health and Population announced on Wednesday.

This picture taken on March 7, 2023 shows a general view of the scene of a train accident in the city of Qalyub in Qalyub province, in Egypt s Nile delta region north of the capital. AFP


On Tuesday evening, a train crashed into the platform before derailing at a railway station in Qalioubiya governorate in the Nile Delta, north of Cairo.

The ministry added that 11 of the 23 individuals injured were discharged from the hospital after receiving medical treatment.

Until Tuesday, two deaths and 16 injuries had been declared.

A committee was formed to investigate the incident while another has been tasked with determining the cause of the crash, identifying the people responsible for the collision, and assessing damages.

Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj announced on Tuesday that the government will compensate the families of the deceased, with each family set to receive EGP 100,000. Injured victims who sustain permanent disability from the crash will receive the same amount.

El-Qabbaj noted that all the injured and their families will receive the necessary social services. However, she made no mention of a monetary compensation for the injured who did not suffer from permanent disability.

The Egyptian National Railways (ENR) said on Tuesday that passenger train 557/3027 on the Shubra El-Kheima - Kafr El-Zayat line crashed at Qalioub train station at 7:20 pm.

The train failed to heed the semaphore signal and crashed into the buffer stopper, which caused the locomotive and the front car to derail, the ENR added.

The injuries took place among passengers who were riding in the cars between the locomotive and the front car, the ENR explained.

The accident occurred amid the development plan the ministry has been executing over the past few years. The Transport Ministry previously announced that the plan to upgrade the railway network includes improving locomotives and carriages at an estimated total of EGP 48.2 billion.

Egypt’s railway sector, the second-oldest in the world with 9,570 km of track running across the country and transporting around 500 million passengers annually, is in need of radical upgrade.

The dilapidated railway network frequently made the headlines until mid-2021 due to major accidents. The latest major one was the tragic train collision that occurred in Sohag governorate in April 2021, which led to 18 deaths and 200 injuries.

In a statement issued last summer, the Transport Ministry said that 110 out of 260 new locomotives were received, while 45 locomotives were renovated. It added that 658 new carriages were supplied out of a total of 1,300. The plan is to raise the efficiency of 1,273 carriages, of which 1,235 have been renewed.

Some 580 railway level crossings out of 1,120 have been built, the ministry noted.

Nevertheless, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said last year that injuries from railway accidents reached 769 in 2021 with a 46.5 increase from 525 in 2020.

There were 978 railway accidents in 2021, up from 898 in 2020, an increase of 8.9 percent, according to Egypt’s official statistics agency.

CAPMAS said that railway-related deaths nationwide increased by 36.8 percent, with 405 fatalities recorded in 2021, up from 296 in 2020, as a result of railway mishaps.

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