TAHTA, EGYPT (AFP) – Egypt buried the dead on Saturday from a train collision that killed at least 19 people and injured 185, according to a revised toll, as investigators probed the country’s latest deadly rail crash.
Health Minister Hala Zayed told reporters that an initial toll of 32 killed in Friday’s crash was revised down, while the number of injured rose from 165.
“After we honed in on the details of those killed and injured… at this moment there are 185 injured and 19 corpses and three bags of body parts,” Zayed said, without giving further details.
Surveillance camera footage of the accident seen by AFP showed a speeding train barrelling into another as it rolled slowly down the tracks, sending a carriage hurtling into the air in a cloud of dust.
Most of those injured in Friday’s crash that occurred in the Tahta district of southern Sohag province suffered fractures.
The first victims were laid to rest early on Saturday with small groups of family and friends in attendance as residents, who appeared mistrustful of outsiders, kept the media at bay.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged tough punishment for those responsible for the crash, the latest in a series of rail accidents to plague Egypt, generally attributed to poor infrastructure and maintenance.
At the scene of the rail disaster, technicians worked through Friday evening to remove five dislocated and damaged carriages. By morning the crash area was cleared of twisted metal and debris.
Egypt’s railway network is one of the oldest in Africa and the Middle East and improving it “will take time”, Madbouli told reporters on Friday. One of the deadliest Egyptian train crashes came in 2002. Three hundred and seventy three people died as a fire ripped through a crowded train south of Cairo.