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  • Charred remains of the Ramses train station train crash in Cairo, Egypt. Feb. 27, 2018

    Charred remains of the Ramses train station train crash in Cairo, Egypt. Feb. 27, 2018 | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 February 2019

A burning caboose rammed into the packed Ramses train station in Cairo, Egypt Wednesday sending it into a barrier, killing 25. There were over 1,700 train accidents in Egypt in 2017.

A train crash at Cairo’s main station has left at least 25 people killed and 50 injured. State television reports that a locomotive smashed into a barrier at the Ramses station located in the center of Egypt’s capital causing an explosion and a fire along with billowing black smoke.

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Police on hand at the time of the deadly crash say so far there has been no sign of foul play and the explosion was an accident.

Eyewitness to the Wednesday incident, Ibrahim Hussein told Reuters: "I saw a man pointing from the locomotive as it entered the platform, and screaming 'There are no brakes, there are no brakes' before he jumped out of the locomotive. And I don't know what happened to him."

Another witness, Mina Ghaly added: "I was standing on the platform and I saw the train speed into the barrier ... Everyone started running but a lot of people died after the locomotive exploded. I saw at least nine corpses lying on the ground, charred," added the stunned bystander.

Ahmed Abdeltawab said the platform had been crowded with people waiting for another train, reporters Reuters.

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"The fire overwhelmed them and they ran while they were on fire until they fell metres from incident," said Abdeltawab. "The scene was terrifying."

Tweets from Arab News show parts of the station engulfed in flames as people try to put out the blazes.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced from the station that the incident would be investigated and anyone found responsible held to account.

"Any person found to be negligent will be held accountable and it will be severe," said the Egyptian official from Ramses.

Egypt has one of the oldest and largest rail infrastructure in the region and the system is continually fraught with the deadly accidents. Exactly a year ago at least 15 people were killed and dozens injured near Cairo Feb. 28, 2018. A July 2018 left 55 injured as several caboosed derailed the tracks and fell over. Weeks later, head of the state-controlled Egyptian Railway Authority was let go from his post, but the change in guard doesn’t seem to be keeping passengers safe.

Egypt’s statistics agency says there were 1,793 train accidents in 2017 alone.

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