At least 25 people have been killed and dozens injured in an explosion at Egypt’s main railway station, after an unmanned speeding railcar crashed into a barrier, setting a fuel tank on fire.
Charred bodies littered the burning platforms and tracks of Ramses station, in central Cairo, which was choked in heavy black smoke and flames on Wednesday morning.
Videos shared online showed survivors with severe burns lying in shock on the ground while others staggered in the background engulfed in flames. In CCTV footage, also shared online, people are filmed trying to come to the rescue of those on fire with blankets and water.
Egyptian state TV reported that at least 25 had been killed and 40 wounded in the blast. However, Mohammed Said, the head of the Cairo Railroad hospital, warned that the toll is expected to rise. Egypt’s top prosecutor General Nabil Sadek later said investigators found that the crash had been caused by a fight between two train conductors.
Ahmed Ibrahim, a jewellery salesman at the scene, said he was on his way to work when he heard a loud explosion.
“I ran to see a lot of people injured. I had to carry a young girl with my own hands,” he said, apparently still in shock.
“I saw bodies cut in half. I’d never seen that … I never thought I’d ever touch dead bodies.”
Mina Ghaly, another eyewitness said: “Everyone started running but a lot of people died after the locomotive exploded.”
“I saw at least nine corpses lying on the ground, charred.”
Egypt’s prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, its minister of transport, Hesham Arafat, and a team of investigators attended the scene to inspect the burnt remains of the train, which was photographed leaning on its side and embedded into the barriers on platform six of the usually packed station. Mr Madbouly said anyone found responsible would be held to account.