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The New Arab

Car crash kills 16 during Cairo night-time curfew

The vehicles were awaiting approval for exception from the nighttime curfew [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 March, 2020

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An accident took place on a stretch of the Egyptian capital’s ring road notorious for its hairpin turns and speeding traffic.

At least 16 people were killed and 15 injured in a multiple car crash late Wednesday in Cairo, hours after a night-time curfew came into effect, as the north African country moves to fight the rapid surge of Coronavirus in the country.

A string of microbuses, trucks and cars were lined up at a checkpoint on a road leading from southern Egypt into central Cairo, awaiting approval for their exemption from a stringent 7pm-6am curfew, during which all forms of public transport on the nation’s road are shut down.

A trailer-truck suddenly rammed into the cluster of vehicles at high speed, according state-owned Ahram news agency.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing as of Thursday, while the injured receive treatment at El Saff Central Hospital in Giza province.

With drivers’ scant adherence to speed limits and road safety compounded by authorities’ poor maintenance of streets and a generally lax enforcement of traffic laws, the annual death in Egypt from roads accident stands at 8,000.

Wednesday’s incident took place on a stretch of the capital’s ring road infamous for its razor-sharp turns and speeding traffic.

Egypt’s nationwide curfew is the most stringent measure yet to contain the ever-rising cases of Covid-19, which had until now encompassed little more than the closure institutions where transmission was guaranteed, such as schools and tourist attractions.

As of Wednesday, Egypt reported 456 cases, including 21 deaths and 95 recoveries, according to government figures.

Read more: The Middle East at war with coronavirus

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