Trains Collide in Egypt; 5 Dead, 30 Injured

A passenger train collided with a cargo train north of Cairo on Monday, killing 5 people and injuring 30 others, police officials said, two weeks after a major train crash in the same area killed 58 people.

The collision occurred Monday evening near Shebin al-Qanater, north of the capital, the officials said. They said one of those who was killed was the driver of of the cargo train, and most of the wounded were passengers.

Theofficials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

On Aug. 21, a passenger train rammed into the back of another train parked at a station in Qalyoub, in the same province as Shebin al-Qanater, killing 58 people.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of that crash, but it prompted a wave of outrage among Egyptians over the poor state of transportation infrastructure. The transportation minister, Mohammed Mansour , later acknowledged the rail system was in need of a major overhaul and was severely underfunded.

Later, the government approved an allocation of $860 million to develop the rail infrastructure, plus another $600 million in loans to the sector.

Egypt has poor safety record on its railways and there are several fatal accident each year, usually blamed on poorly maintained equipment.

The worst recent disaster took place in February 2002, when a train heading to southern Egypt caught fire, killing 363 people.

• CountryWatch: Egypt