Egypt's Health Ministry scales down death toll in road accident east of Cairo, saying 7 died

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CAIRO — Egypt's Health Ministry said an accident early Friday east of Cairo killed seven people, less than half of the fatalities reported in the initial confusion surrounding the crash.

The accident took place when a speeding bus failed to stop in front of railroad tracks and was hit by an oncoming train, ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar said. He said five of those killed were school children.

Abdel-Ghaffar said 24 people were injured in the crash, and seven of them were reported to be in critical condition. He said the injured, including several children, were transferred to hospitals.

The police chief of Sharqiya province where the accident occurred, Meligi Meligi, said the initial reported death toll of 15 was a mistake, stemming from confusion surrounding the accident.

Deadly road accidents claim thousands of lives in Egypt every year. They are mostly caused by speeding, bad roads or lack of regular vehicle maintenance. Road accidents killed about 13,000 people in Egypt in 2013.

In November 2012, a train crashed into a bus carrying children to kindergarten, killing more than 50 people.

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