Seven children drown in Egypt after autorickshaw plunges into canal

Police officials blame the accident on speeding

A motorbike and trailer, sometimes called a "tricycle," by Egyptians is a popular mode of transport for traders but is also used as an affordable mode of transport for some families.
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Seven children from the same family drowned and an eighth was rescued when an autorickshaw they were travelling in veered off the road and plunged into a canal in southern Egypt, police officials said on Wednesday.

All but one of the children were siblings, the other was a cousin. The children's parents and a grandparent were also aboard the autorickshaw, the official said. The three adults survived.

The police officials did not specify the age of the children, saying only that they were under 14.

"My heart is burning. May God lend me patience," the father, Hassan Mohammed, told local media after the burial of his six children on Wednesday. "I was praying to God and screaming for help, but I could save only one of my children, Mohammed.

"Before the ambulances arrived, two young men went into the canal to try and find my children. They found the bodies of my daughter Fatmah and the children's cousin Youssef. The rest were found by police divers," he said.

The accident occurred late on Tuesday night in the Al Qurna area near the ancient city of Luxor, from which the family was returning home after spending the fourth and final day of the Eid Al Adha holiday.

The officials blamed the accident on the speed of the autorickshaw.

Cars, buses and autorickshaws plunging into the Nile or canals is not uncommon in rural Egypt, where roads are bad and regulations on capacity are often ignored, especially during holidays.

The World Health Organisation estimated that there were more than 10,000 deaths on the roads in Egypt in 2019, the most recently available reporting year, putting it below the regional average.

The type of autorickshaw involved in Tuesday's accident typically consists of a regular motorbike with an attached flat bed used to ferry goods or people.

They are known locally as tricycles.

Updated: July 13, 2022, 4:27 PM