25 dead, dozens hurt after train conductors fight

Smoke billows from Cairo's Ramses Railway Station Wednesday

Egypt's Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said investigators determined the locomotive's conductor had left his auto to fight with another conductor whose railcar was blocking his.

A team of prosecutors moved to the scene, accompanied by a number of forensic doctors who listened to eyewitnesses. Egyptian railways are beset with frequent accidents due to brake failure and other incidents related to the antiquated state of signals, tracks, locomotives and passenger cars.

Local newspaper Al-Ahram reported the train crashed and the fuel tank exploded, but details of the incident have not been confirmed. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh A member of security forces inspect the damage caused by a fire at the main train station in Cairo, Egypt, February 27, 2019.

Fire fighters and onlookers gather at the scene of the fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo's main railway station. Several noted previous statements by Egypt's president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, expressing reservations about spending too much money on improving trains citing a lack of funds. One man is seen fleeing while completely on fire.

Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce basic safety standards for the railways. As the AP notes, "Official figures show that 1,793 train accidents took place in 2017 across the country".

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The transport minister said the train's diesel tank had exploded.

In March previous year, the president said the government lacked about 250bn Egyptian pounds (£10.7bn; $14.1bn) to overhaul the rundown rail system.

Mr el-Sissi spoke a day after a passenger train collided with a cargo train, killing at least 12 people, including a child. A train collision in Alexandria killed more than 40 people in 2017.

Months later 60 people were injured when another train derailed.

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