World Bulletin / News Desk
The death toll from a major rail/road accident in the town of Dahshur in Egypt's Giza province in the early hours of Monday has risen to 26, a senior ambulance authority official said.
According to authority head Ahmed al-Ansari, another 28 people were injured in the crash, which took place when a train slammed into a passenger bus and truck that had been trying to cross the track.
Al-Ansari said rescue teams had raced into the crash site early Monday morning to aid victims and remove wreckage from the tracks.
The injured were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The incident comes only one day after the first anniversary of a similar accident in the southern Assiut province, where a train ploughed into a school bus, killing 50 schoolchildren.
Railway Authority Chairman Hussein Zakaria Fadali blamed the drivers of the bus and truck for the accident.
According to Fadali, the train driver had suddenly found the two vehicles right in front of the train he was driving, even though the crossing was closed and do-not-cross signals were flashing.
He was quoted by the official Middle East News Agency as saying that two railway workers should have been manning the crossing at the time.
Mustafa Rashad, deputy railway authority chairman for maintenance and technical support, likewise blamed the bus and truck drivers.
"They didn't wait for the train to cross even though it was so close," Rashad told Egyptian radio.
Deadly rail and road accidents have become common in Egypt. Years of government neglect have left the country's rail system in a state of dilapidation, while railway workers rarely receive adequate training.
According to unofficial reports, most accidents occur at or near rail crossings, which are still operated manually.
The victims of Monday's crash had just returned from a wedding party, a security source said.Last Mod: 18 Kasım 2013, 14:46