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State media in Egypt reported at least 25 people dead and 50 injured when a locomotive smashed into a barrier at Cairo’s main train station on Wednesday.
The resulting explosion and fire sent black smoke billowing above Ramses station in the centre of the Egyptian capital.
Inside the station, the train’s blackened engine could be seen tilted to one side next to a platform.
Eyewitness Ibrahim Hussein said: “I saw a man pointing from the locomotive as it entered the platform, and screaming ‘There are no brakes, there are no brakes’ before he jumped out of the locomotive. And I don’t know what happened to him.”
Bystander Mina Ghaly added: “I was standing on the platform and I saw the train speed into the barrier … Everyone started running but a lot of people died after the locomotive exploded.
“I saw at least nine corpses lying on the ground, charred.”
Security sources said there was no indication that the crash was deliberate.
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Ahmed Abdeltawab said the platform had been crowded with people waiting for another train.
“The fire overwhelmed them and they ran while they were on fire until they fell metres from incident,” he said. “The scene was terrifying.”
Several witnesses said they had seen fire coming out of the train’s engine before it crashed, causing an explosion and fires inside the station.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced from the station that the incident would be investigated and anyone found responsible held to account.
“I don’t know when these train accidents will end … They told us they got millions of dollars’ worth of new locomotives and trains, and people are still dying because of train accidents.”
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