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20 killed in deadly blaze at Cairo's main railway station

The train's fuel tank reportedly exploded after the crash at Ramses Station in downtown Cairo. /BBC
The train's fuel tank reportedly exploded after the crash at Ramses Station in downtown Cairo. /BBC

At least 20 people have been killed and 40 others injured by a large fire at the main railway station in Egypt's capital, Cairo, officials say.

The National Railway Authority said the fire erupted when a train collided with a concrete buffer stop at Ramses Station, in the city centre.

The train's fuel tank reportedly exploded after the crash, setting a platform and nearby buildings on fire.

Dozens of ambulances and fire engines rushed to the scene.

"I was standing on the platform and I saw the train speed into the barrier," witness Mina Ghaly told Reuters news agency.

"Everyone started running but a lot of people died after the locomotive exploded."

Egypt's railway system has a poor safety record, which many people blame on a lack of investment by successive governments and poor management.

In August 2017, 43 people were killed and more than 100 injured when two passenger trains collided outside the Mediterrian port city of Alexandria.

The country's deadliest rail accident occurred near Cairo in 2002, when a fire ripped through an overcrowded passenger train,killing more than 370 people.