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November 18 2012 1 18 /11 /November /2012 04:30

Egypt bus crash kills 50 children near Manfalut

Distraught Egyptians searched for signs of their loved ones in the wreckage of a train crash that killed at least 47 people, most of them children near Assiut in southern Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. The bus was carrying more than 50 children between 4 and 6 years old when it was hit near al-Mandara village in Manfaloot district in the province of Assiut, a security official said, adding that it appears that the railroad crossing was not closed as the train sped toward it. (AP Photo/Mamdouh Thabet) Photo: Mamdouh Thabet, Associated Press / SF

Footage from the scene showed the train surrounded by debris

Fifty children aged four to six years old and the driver of the school bus they were on were killed when their vehicle was hit by a train in central Egypt on Saturday, officials said.

 

The transport minister resigned in the wake of the crash near Manfalut, 350km (230 miles) south of Cairo.

 

The provincial governor said the man in charge of the crossing was asleep and had been arrested.

 

Egyptian roads and railways have a poor safety record.

 

An estimated 8,000 people die in car accidents each year in the country.

 

The head of the railway authority has also resigned.

 

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi ordered his ministers to offer support to the families of those killed, the state news agency reported.

President Mursi vowed to take "all necessary steps" to compensate the injured and the families of the dead

 

"They told us the barriers were open when the bus crossed the tracks and the train collided with it," doctor Mohamed Samir told the Reuters news agency, citing witness accounts.

 

An eyewitness said the train pushed the bus about 1km (half a mile) along the track.

 

More than a dozen people were also injured.

 

Distraught families searched for the remains of their loved ones along the tracks, the Associated Press reported.

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