At least 25 killed as train crashes in Cairo station, erupting in ball of flames

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a fireball ripped through Egypt’s Ramses Station as a highspeed train smashed into a metal barrier killing at least 25 people and injuring 50 on Wednesday. (AFP)
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Security forces and onlookers gather at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo's main railway station on February 27, 2019. (AFP)
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Fire fighters and onlookers gather at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo's main railway station on February 27, 2019. (AFP)
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Fire fighters and onlookers gather at the scene of a fiery train crash at the Egyptian capital Cairo's main railway station on February 27, 2019. (AFP)
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a fireball ripped through Egypt’s Ramses Station as a highspeed train smashed into a metal barrier killing at least 25 people and injuring 50 on Wednesday. (AFP)
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a fireball ripped through Egypt’s Ramses Station as a highspeed train smashed into a metal barrier killing at least 25 people and injuring 50 on Wednesday. (AFP)
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a fireball ripped through Egypt’s Ramses Station as a highspeed train smashed into a metal barrier killing at least 25 people and injuring 50 on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 28 February 2019

At least 25 killed as train crashes in Cairo station, erupting in ball of flames

  • 50 people were also reported to be injured
  • There was a blast when a train rammed into a steel barrier at Ramses station

CAIRO: A deadly train crash which killed at least 25 people and injured dozens more was caused by a driver leaving his vehicle unattended without turning off its engine to speak with the driver of another train, according to Egypt's prosecutor-general.

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek issued a statement revealing the preliminary results of an investigation into the crash, saying the train involved in the deadly collision had been on its way to a train yard when it was struck by another locomotive on an adjacent train line.

The driver of the first train left it unattended without turning off its engine to speak with the other driver, who was already working on disengaging his train from another locomotive.

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READ MORE: Egypt’s deadly record of train accidents

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When the two trains disengaged, the now-unmanned train moved at high speed towards the railway station until it collided with a concrete barrier at the end of the train line and burst into flames.

The prosecution has tasked forensic experts with using DNA tests to identify the charred remains of the victims.

"The driver left the railcar without taking any measures to brake it," Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said in a statement.

Health officials say at least 25 people were killed and dozens more injured in the crash and ensuing fire.

The moment a fireball ripped through Egypt’s Ramses Station as a highspeed train smashed into a metal barrier killing at least 20 people and injuring 50 on Wednesday was captured on video.

In a video released on social media commuters can be seen walking around and then moments later people are seen running for their lives as the ball of flames erupts through the air.

In a section of the video that Arab News deemed too distressing to show, a woman can be seen fleeing, her clothes and hair on fire – it is not know what happened to her.

Dozens of people were injured when the train smashed into a steel barrier, erupting into a ball of flames at Ramses station in central Cairo. Egypt's health ministry said the number killed was 20 but Associated Press reported that the death toll was at least 25.

Egypt’s Minister of Transport, Hesham Arafat resigned later the same day.

Social media footage showed images of people fleeing and what appeared to be burnt corpses strewn across the platform and railway track below.

Thick black smoke could be seen rising high above the area as the flames engulfed the station platform.

 

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly arrived at the scene and pledged in a statement to reporters to investigate and hold those responsible for any negligence to account. 

The transportation minister and governor of Cairo were also at the scene. 

Railway operations were immediately stopped after the incident but returned to full operation at 10:42 a.m. (GMT).

Dozens of people are being treated in hospital

Security sources said there was no indication that the crash was deliberate.

Eyewitness Ibrahim Hussein said: "I saw a man pointing from the locomotive as it entered the platform, and screaming 'There are no brakes, there are no brakes’ before he jumped out of the locomotive. And I don’t know what happened to him."

Bystander Mina Ghaly added: "I was standing on the platform and I saw the train speed into the barrier ... Everyone started running but a lot of people died after the locomotive exploded.

"I saw at least nine corpses lying on the ground, charred."

Ahmed Abdeltawab said the platform had been crowded with people waiting for another train.

"The fire overwhelmed them and they ran while they were on fire until they fell metres from incident," he said. "The scene was terrifying."

Several witnesses said they had seen fire coming out of the train's engine before it crashed, causing an explosion and fires inside the station.

Student Ali Ramadan said he had suffered burns and injured his foot when he ran into a concrete bench on the crowded platform

"I don't know when these train accidents will end ... They told us they got millions of dollars' worth of new locomotives and trains, and people are still dying because of train accidents."

(With Reuters)


Abu Dhabi launches first graduate level research-based AI university internationally

Updated 3 min 51 sec ago

Abu Dhabi launches first graduate level research-based AI university internationally

  • Registration will open in August 2020
  • PwC expects AI to contribute $16 trillion to the global economy by 2030

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi announced on Wednesday the founding of the first graduate level research-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) university in the world.

The establishment, named after the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed, will provide access to international AI systems for students and faculty.

“AI is already changing the world, but we can achieve so much more if we allow the limitless imagination of the human mind to fully explore it,” UAE Minister of State and chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees Sultan Al-Jaber said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that by 2030 AI is expected to contribute $16 trillion to the global economy and 14 percent to the UAE’s GDP.

MBZUAI will offer Master of Science (MSc) and PhD level programs in a number of areas, such as Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing.

The university will provide all students with full scholarships and benefits, including a monthly allowance, health insurance and accommodation. It will also help students secure internships with local and global leading companies.

Registration opens in August 2020.