Governor of Luxor Tarek Saad El-Din checking one of the injured in the crash at a local hospital, Luxor, Egypt, Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)
Nineteen people have been killed and 17 wounded in a road accident involving two microbuses in southern Egypt, state news agency MENA reported, the latest in a series of deadly traffic accidents in the country in recent days.
The accident took place late on Monday in a village called Al-Dabaiya in the temple city of Luxor when two microbuses collided, left the road and fell into a canal.
Al-Ahram Arabic news website said a car travelling in the wrong direction was the cause of the crash.
Governor of Luxor Tarek Saad El-Din and provincial security chief Montaser Abu Zeid paid a visit to the injured at a local hospital late on the day, Ahram Arabic news website reported.
The death toll was expected to climb to 25 earlier in the morning with several of the cases being in a critical condition, MENA quoted local head of the ambulance services, Abu Al-Naga Al-Hagagy, as saying.
Rescue workers were pulling victims from the water early in the morning.
Traffic accidents, which the government's census agency says claim 18 lives a day, are commonplace in Egypt due to badly maintained roads and railways and poorly enforced traffic laws. Egyptians have often complained that successive governments have done little to uphold the minimum safety standards to prevent frequent accidents.
According to a 2012 report by the World Health Organisation, road accidents kill about 12,000 people in Egypt every year.
On Friday, at least 44 people died and dozens were injured when two buses collided in the southern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, near a popular Red Sea resort, local prosecutors said.
A recent government report said that 100,000 car accidents took place in Egypt from 2008 to 2012, with 33,000 killed and another 150,000 injured.
The report, jointly drawn up in April by the ministries of transport and interior, said that large trucks were to blame for 40 percent of traffic accidents, while private vehicles causes 33 percent of crashes, followed by microbuses (9 percent) and buses (7 percent).
In one of the most tragic accidents, 50 people, mainly schoolchildren, were killed in November 2012 when a train ploughed into their school bus at a level crossing in Cairo.