2002 Al Ayyat railway accident

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Not to be confused with 2009 Al Ayyat railway accident.
2002 Al Ayyat railway accident
Date 20 February 2002
Location Al-Ayyat, Egypt
Country Egypt
Rail line Upper-Egypt train line
Operator Egyptian National Railways
Type of incident Train fire
Trains 1
Deaths 383
Injuries 0

The Al Ayyat train disaster happened at 02:00 on the morning of 20 February 2002 in a passenger train of eleven carriages, travelling from Cairo to Luxor. In its fifth carriage a cooking gas cylinder exploded and created a fire which spread as the train ran. Seven of its carriages, all third class, were burnt almost to cinders. The number of dead given by officials at the time was 383, all Egyptians. However, considering that 7 carriages were burnt to the ground and each carriage was packed with at least double the maximum carrying capacity of 150, this number is considered by many people[who?] to be a great underestimate. The dubious nature of the given number of deaths lies with the absence of a full passenger list; accounting for those missing was almost impossible at the time. As well as this, the carriages were burnt so badly and the fire so intense that many corpses had simply become ash. As there was no means of communication between the driver and the rear carriages, the driver did not know of the fire until about two hours after the fire had begun and so many people who attempted to flee from the overcrowded carriages were killed when they jumped. Some important Egyptians[who?] have commentated that the official number of 383 dead is grossly inaccurate and was an attempt to lessen the damage done to the reputation of the government. Many people[who?] consider a number of about 1000 dead to be more accurate.

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Coordinates: 29°37′13″N 31°15′20″E / 29.620177°N 31.255631°E / 29.620177; 31.255631