More than 40 Egyptian school children were killed today when a high speed train train crashed into a school bus in Assuit.
According to ABC News, at least 49 children between four and six years old were killed during the crash.
A security official on the scene said that the railroad crossing gate was not closed as the train made its way down the track. The train collided with the kindergarten school bus and pushed the bus down the track for about a half mile before it came to a stop.
KSAT reports that Mohammed Rashad al-Metainy, the minister of transportation, resigned after the deadly crash. Al-Metainy said that he accepted “the political responsibility.”
Al-Metainy may be taking full “political responsibility” for the crash but that doesn’t mean that newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, won’t be blamed for the tragedy. Political group April 6 released a statement saying:
“President Mohammed Morsi is responsible and must follow up personally … He is the one who chose this failed government whose disasters increase day after day.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, a major political force in Egypt and one of Morsi’s supporters, blamed the crash on the “culture of negligence” perpetuated by ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.
Regardless of who’s at fault Egypt’s rail system is in dire need of repair. Today’s accident comes just one week after another train crash killed four people.
[Update: The AP has raised its death count. At least 51 Egyptian school children were killed during the crash.]