A major explosion and subsequent fire at Cairo’s main train station Wednesday was caused by a fight between two train drivers, according to local officials.
At least 25 people were killed and more than 40 injured when a locomotive crashed through the station barriers at speed, colliding with a fuel tanker, causing the fire and explosion.
Many of those killed were passengers waiting on the platform to board trains, according to local media.
Late Wednesday night, Egypt’s prosecutor general said the preliminary results of an investigation revealed that the driver of the train had been arguing with a fellow train driver at the time of the accident.
Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said the driver had earlier been blocked by the driver of another train, and upon entering the station, he left his locomotive to continue the argument, without stopping the train or engaging the breaks.
“The driver left the railcar without taking any measures to brake it,” Sadek said in a statement.
Transport Minister Hisham Arafat resigned hours after the accident, Egyptian state television reported. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli accepted Mr Arafat's resignation.
CCTV video of the moment of the accident and explosion was published on YouTube. It shows men and women on the platform engulfed in flames and smoke.
Some readers may find this video disturbing
This accident is the latest in a string of deadly incidents for the Egyptian railway network. On August 21st, 2006, two trains collided at the converging junction in Qalyoub to the north of Cairo killing 58 people and injuring over 140.
On October 24th, 2009, 50 people were killed and 30 injured in a train collision in El Ayyat.
More recently, on January 15th, 2013 a train en route to Cairo from Sohag derailed, leaving at least 19 people dead and 120 injured, and on August 11th, 2017 a train derailed near Khorshid station in the suburbs of the eastern edge of Alexandria, killing 41 people and injuring another 179.