47 Kids Killed As Train Collides With School Bus In Egypt

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By Sreeja V N | November 17, 2012 8:46 PM EST

At least 47 school children were killed and 13 others injured when a train collided with a school bus carrying children to their school in southern Egypt Saturday, the official news agency said.

Local media reports said that the train hit the school bus at a rail road crossing in the city of Manfalut, near Assiut, south of Cairo. 

"There are several deaths and injuries among the pupils. They are being counted and taken to hospitals," Mamdouh al-Weshahi, a senior Health Ministry official, was quoted as saying by DPA.
According to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity, it appears that the railroad crossing was open as the train sped towards it.

Most of the children killed were kindergartners students in the age group of 3-7 and the distraught parents and relatives were searching for the remains of the kids along the tracks, local media reported.

A local governor has ordered a probe into the accident, and President Mohamed Morsi has directed the officials to “offer all the assistance to the families of the victims," according to the official MENA agency. 

Transport Minister Rashad al-Metini and the head of the Egyptian Railway Authority have resigned following the incident, according to MENA.

Rail accidents are common in Egypt as the country's railway system has a poor safety record.

Four people were killed and 32 others injured when two trains collided in Fayum, a city in the southwest of Cairo, Sunday last.

In 2002, 376 people were killed in the country’s worst railway accident when a packed train traveling from Cairo to Luxo caught fire.

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