Toll from Egypt train crash rises to 22: Health minister

CAIRO� The death toll from a crash and fire at Cairo’s main railway station rose to 22, Egypt’s health minister said, adding that six of the wounded were in a critical condition.

On Wednesday, a hurtling locomotive crashed, derailed and caught fire at the Ramses train station.

The health ministry soon after reported that at least 20 people were killed and 40 injured.

Hours after the latest disaster to strike Egypt’s rundown railways, the transportation minister resigned.

Health Minister Hala Zayed told state television that the death toll had risen to 22 and the number of wounded now stood at 41, six of them in critical condition, suffering 90 to 100 per cent burns which could be fatal.

Authorities have arrested the train driver after the engine appeared to have slammed into the buffers at the end of the track at high speed, sparking a major blaze that blackened the walls of Ramses station.

The prosecution said the driver had left his cabin without turning the engine off, causing the train to career onwards at full speed before smashing to a violent stop.

There have been several train accidents in Egypt in recent years, the deadliest of which took place in 2002 when 373 people died in a fire that ripped through a crowded train south of the capital.