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Feb 11, 10:33 AM EST

At least 69 injured in train derailment in Egypt

AP Photo
AP Photo/Samer Abdullah

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CAIRO (AP) -- At least 69 people were injured when a train derailed and two of its cars overturned as it was travelling north toward Cairo on Thursday, an Egyptian Health Ministry official said.

Gamal el-Gohari was quoted by Egypt's state-run news agency as saying that the accident took place early Thursday morning near Beni Suef, a city south of Cairo. MENA quoted an unidentified security official as saying that the train hit a cement wall while trying to avoid a second one heading in the opposite direction, causing two of its compartments to overturn.

The agency also said that the train conductor was arrested.

Railroad accidents due to negligence are common in Egypt. Egyptians have long complained that the government has failed to deal with the country's chronic transport problems.

Egypt's worst railway disaster was in February 2002 when a train heading to southern Egypt caught fire, killing 363 people.

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