Water buffalo causes big train smash

CAIRO - An errant water buffalo caused two Egyptian passenger trains to collide at high speed south of Cairo, killing 18 people and hurting 39, the health ministry said yesterday in a revised toll.

CAIRO - An errant water buffalo caused two Egyptian passenger trains to collide at high speed south of Cairo, killing 18 people and hurting 39, the health ministry said yesterday in a revised toll.

The first train stopped after hitting the buffalo on Saturday, and was then rear-ended by a second train going at full speed.

A health ministry statement corrected the earlier toll given on Saturday in official media and police reports that 25 were killed and 55 injured.

An eyewitness told APTN that the first train hit the buffalo and its owner, the injured were taken to hospital and they are in stable condition.

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

The country's worst railway disaster took place in 2002 when a train heading to southern Egypt caught fire, killing 363 people. - Sapa-AP

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