At least 32 people were killed and 165 injured as two trains collided in the Tahta district in Sohag governorate, Upper Egypt on Friday, the health ministry said.
According to the health ministry, 72 ambulances have been dispatched to the scene to transfer the injured to four main hospitals in the governorate.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi vowed “deterrent punishment” for the culprits of the deadly train collision, stressing determination to end a “pattern of such disasters."
“Whoever caused this tragic accident, whether through negligence or corruption or other reasons, will face deterrent punishment with no exceptions, reluctance or deferment,” El-Sisi said in a post on his Facebook page.
The president also expressed condolences to the families of the victims and promised suitable compensations to their families.
Prosecutor General Hamada El-Sawy ordered an urgent inquiry into the causes of the collision, dispatching a team of investiagators to the scene of the incident.
The prosecution general urged in a statement “all bodies not issue any statements on the reasons behind the collision," pending the results of its investigations.
The cabinet spokesman, Nader Saad, said Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and five ministers, including health and transportation ministers, will head to Sohag to visit visit the injured and follow-up on measures taken to deal with the deadly crash.
Madbouly ordered the formation of a specialised technical committee to stand on the reasons behind the accident, stressing zero-tolerance with any negligence or faults while vowing to hold the culprits behind the crash accountable.
Transportaion ministry opens inquiry
The Ministry of Transportation had earlier issued a statement saying that the collision occurred after “an emergency brake in some carriages [of Train 157 Luxor-Alexandria] was activated by unknown individuals," forcing the Luxor-Alexandria train to come to a sudden stop only to be hit from behind by another coming train, Train 709 Aswan-Cairo.
The collision caused two carriages from the Luxor-Alexandria train and the tractor of the Aswan-Cairo train to derail and flip over, leading to the casualties, the transportation ministry added.
The ministry said a technical committee has been formed to determine the cause of the crash, with efforts underway to resume train traffic on the line.