Car explosion in central Cairo claims 19 lives

Car explosion in central Cairo claims at least 19 lives
2 min read
05 August, 2019
Nineteen people were killed and 30 injured after a multiple-car crash in central Cairo set off an explosion that ignited a fire at Egypt's main cancer hospital.
19 people were killed after a car crash caused a huge explosion in Cairo [AFP/Getty]

At least 19 people were killed when a car driving against traffic crashed into three other vehicles causing a huge explosion in Cairo, the Egyptian health ministry said Monday.

The car crash happened just before midnight Sunday outside the National Cancer Institute in central Cairo and also wounded 30 people, the ministry added.

Between "three and four (of the injured) are in critical condition in the intensive care unit," Khaled Megahed, a spokesman for the health ministry, told an early Monday news conference.

He said they suffered from "several burns of varying degrees". Body parts were also retrieved from the scene, he added.

Social media users posted footage of cars ablaze at the scene and of patients being evacuated from the Cancer Institute.

The blast caused a fire in the hospital, where at least 54 patients were evacuated to other hospitals. The fire was later brought under control, with television footage Monday morning showing shattered windows and doors.

Why the crash caused such a large explosion wasn't immediately clear. 

The health ministry did not say if hospital patients or staff were among the casualties.

Egypt's prosecutor general has ordered an investigation to determine the causes of the crash.

Deadly road accidents owing to driver error and dilapidated infrastructure are common in Egypt with over 3000 killed in more than 8400 crashes in 2018, according to official figures published earlier this year.

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