Dozens injured in train crash in Alexandria, Egypt

Incident is country’s second rail accident within 24 hours

At least 40 people were injured on Tuesday when a locomotive crashed into the last car of a Cairo-bound train departing the main station in Alexandria, the Health Ministry and the state-owned railway authority said.

The Health Ministry said the injured were taken to local hospitals, where they were treated for broken bones and bruises.

Tuesday's accident came less than 24 hours after two people were killed and six injured when a freight train hit a minibus parked too close to the tracks in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan.

Monday's crash was the first deadly train accident since April, when a train ploughed into a lorry on a level crossing in the Red Sea city of Suez, killing the vehicle's driver and injuring a passenger.

The Suez collision was one of a series of deadly train incidents over a one-month period in which at least 43 people were killed and hundreds injured.

The spate of accidents put the spotlight on Egypt's struggling railway sector, sparking a national conversation and calls for the severe punishment of those responsible for the incidents.

Initial findings by prosecutors investigating the accidents in March and April revealed a litany of criminal negligence, corruption and even drug abuse among rail workers on duty.

Arrests were made, with some railway officials now facing charges of manslaughter.

Beside hundreds of accidents a year – many of them too minor to be reported even by local media – the debt-ridden service is plagued by delays, overcrowding and technical glitches.

Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir recently revealed government plans to spend 225 billion Egyptian pounds ($14.375bn) on overhauling the country's rail service over the next three years.

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