Train fires in Egypt, India kill hundreds

Posted on March 1, 2002

Train fires in Egypt and India in February killed about 370 and 60 people, respectively. The Egyptian train was crowded with people leaving the capital for a religious holiday when it caught fire and traveled in flames for miles, reported the Associated Press. The fire was reportedly started by a cooking gas cylinder that burst, spreading through the last seven of the train’s 11 cars. The train is said to have had no dining car, but the cylinder may have been brought on by passengers, who often bring gas cylinders or small stoves aboard despite regulations forbidding it. Following the disaster, Egypt’s transport minister and railway authority chief resigned, prompting accusations of negligence and calls for more investment in the railway. The train fire in India broke out after a mob torched a trainload of Hindu activists heading home from a holy site. Witnesses said the mob numbered several hundred, but the reasons for the attack were not immediately clear.

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