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Egypt: Train crash claims lives of 40 to 50 schoolchildren

17 November 2012: A train has crashed into a school bus carrying primary school children in Egypt, killing between 40 and 50 children.

The accident happened this morning (17 November 2012) in Assiut, Egypt.

The latest figure to be reported dead is 47 children, aged between 4 and 6 years old.
The school coach was a daily transport bus, carrying around 60 children from El Mandra Village, its hamlets and El Hawatca village to school at Beni Adi Al Azaher institute.

The coach was crossing train tracks near Manfalut, 350km (230 miles) south of Cairo, when the train ploughed into it.

The accident has so far claimed the lives of 49 children, with 13 left in a critical condition in hospital. More casualties are expected to be reported.

Plan-supported communities affected

International children’s charity Plan International works with the communities in the area. Representatives from the charity described the situation as shocking.

Ayman Sadek, Upper Egypt Programme Area Manager for Plan in Assiut, who is at the scene, said: “Currently, the situation in the village is shocking and very bad; we could not have clear information about the killed children and almost all promoters have relatives involved in the crash.

“The security situation is not good as some children’ families are blocking the main road armed with guns.

“All the families are shocked.”

All Plan activities in the area are suspended due to the accident.

Learn about Plan's work in Egypt

Media contacts:

Terry Ally, terry.ally@plan-international.org
Jane Labous, +44 (0)7540 048494, jane.labous@plan-international.org
Edward Abbey, edward.abbey@plan-international.org
Regis Nyamakanga, regis.nyamakanga@plan-international.org
Ayman Sadek, Upper Egypt Programme Area Manager, ayman.sadek@plan-international.org, +2 088 2287116