25 die in Sinai road accident

Ahram Online , Tuesday 11 Mar 2014

A bus and a truck collide head-on in the Sinai Peninsula near Suez, killing 25 and injuring 25

the site of the accident
Rescuers are seen next to the wreckage of a bus after a collision happened between a bus and a truck in the Sinai Peninsula near Suez early Tuesday (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Twenty-five people, including three children, died in a road accident in the Sinai Peninsula early on Tuesday when a passenger bus collided with a parked truck carrying 50 tons of building materials.

Another 25, including the driver of the bus, were injured. The dead included four police personnel – two low-ranking officers and two conscripts.

The bus, which was carrying passengers from South Sinai to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, collided head-on with a truck parked on the highway between Oyoun Mousa and Suez.

According to the bus driver, Fathy Shafiq, a car driving in the wrong lane approached the bus while flashing its bright lights.

"I was unable to see from the light, and when I tried to avoid the car, I was shocked to find a truck parked on my right," Shafik told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website. 

The truck had been parked on the side of the highway after it broke down, said Mahmoud Hosny, the truck's co-driver.

Hosny said that he and his boss had been sleeping inside the truck while waiting for a mechanic to arrive when the bus crashed into them.

He added that the truck had been carrying 50 tons of marble.

Mohamed Gomaa, who works on a farm opposite the accident site, said that he heard a "horrible crashing sound" at about 4am and ran out onto the highway in time to see body parts "flying through the air and scattered" across the tarmac.

The injured have been transferred via ambulance to Suez General Hospital.

The dead were sent to the morgue, said Salama Gabr, from Suez's ambulance authority.

Four bodies remain unidentified, Gabr said.

The families of those killed in the accident will be compensated with LE40,000, said Ibrahim Labib, chairman of Egypt's auto insurance federation.

The crash follows two others on Monday in which 16 were killed. Egypt experienced a spate of stormy weather on Sunday, which caused a number of accidents.

Egypt is notorious for its poor road safety. According to the World Health Organisation, 12,000 Egyptians are killed in accidents annually.

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