Cairo - A train derailed in a Cairo suburb on Tuesday, killing 19 young conscripts and injuring 107, Egypt's health ministry spokesman said, sparking protests outside a main railway station in the capital.
Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce even basic road and rail safeguards. In November, at least 50 people, mostly children, were killed when a train crashed into a school bus south of Cairo.
At the Cairo railway station, about 200 protesters chanted, “Be happy Mubarak, Mursi is continuing in your tracks”, referring to former president Hosni Mubarak who was ousted in a popular uprising in 2011.
“To those who are silent about this, why are you silent? Is your conscience dead?”, other demonstrators chanted.
The train was travelling from Upper Egypt to a training camp in Cairo when it came off the rails in the Giza neighbourhood of Badrashin, a security source said.
Ahmed Omar, the health ministry spokesman, told the state news agency MENA that the injured were taken to hospitals.
There was no further information available about the identities of the 19 dead except the names of the hospitals to which their corpses were sent, MENA said.
“The Egyptian Ambulance Authority has sent 66 ambulance cars to the site of the accident to move the bodies of the injured and the corpses of the victims to hospitals,” Omar told MENA.
Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, elected in June 2012, visited accident victims at one army hospital in central Cairo. He described the incident as a “disaster for all Egyptians” and vowed to punish those responsible, MENA said.
The train driver was detained for four days pending investigations, it said. - Reuters