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Egyptian train crash kills 57

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Rescuers use a crane to lift the mangled wreckage.

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Egypt
Disasters and Accidents

CAIRO, Egypt -- Two passenger trains collided and burst into flames north of Cairo Monday morning, killing at least 57 people and injuring 128 others, according to the Egyptian health minister.

The collision occurred in the town of Qalyoub, about 12 miles north of the capital, during the morning commute, Adly Hussein, governor of Qalyoubia province, told Egyptian state television.

Four cars derailed and overturned, forcing officials to close the lines from the Nile Delta cities of Benha and Mansoura, where the trains originated.

Security forces were searching for survivors and recovering bodies amid the crumpled and destroyed cars.

The accident happened when the train from Mansoura failed to stop at a signal outside the Qalyoub train station, police officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give statements to the media. The officials said the train was going at least 50 mph.

The driver of the Mansoura train was killed and the locomotive overturned, police said.

Footage broadcast by state television showed the front part of one train crumpled in, while other train cars lay on their sides or on the grass next to the train tracks.

Shoes and blood-soaked clothing littered the station's platform. A man's lifeless and bloodied forearm was emerging from a crushed car.

Egypt has a history of serious train accidents, which are usually blamed on poorly maintained equipment. Many of those incidents have occurred in the Nile Delta, north of the capital.

The most recent accident in February saw 20 people injured when two trains collided at a Nile Delta station.

Following a long-standing government policy, the Egyptian government announced compensation for the families.

Families of each victim who died in the crash will receivee 5,000 Egyptian pounds (around $870). The injured will receive 1,000 Egyptian pounds.

Egypt's worst train disaster in February 2002 killed 363 people, many of them headed home to the country's south for the Islamic calendar's most important holiday.

Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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