Multiple-car crash in Egypt sets off fire at hospital, kills 20

car crash, Egypt, cancer hospital, Accident

Cairo - Four of the 20 people killed remain unidentified.

By Reuters, AFP

Published: Mon 5 Aug 2019, 9:17 AM

Last updated: Tue 6 Aug 2019, 1:19 AM

A huge explosion caused by a speeding car in central Cairo overnight, killing at least 20 people, was a "terrorist incident," Egypt's president said on Monday.
"I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident," read a post on Abdel Fattah El Sisi's official Facebook and Twitter feeds.
The collision happened just before midnight on Sunday, when a speeding car driving against the traffic crashed into three other vehicles outside the National Cancer Institute in the Egyptian capital.
Four of the 20 people killed remain unidentified, the health ministry said, while 47 others were wounded.
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 a press conference.
He said they suffered from "several burns of varying degrees".
Body parts were also retrieved from the scene, he added.
The front of the hospital suffered extensive damaged, with an entrance wrecked and rubble strewn over the pavement. Victims' belongings were scattered among the debris.
The interior ministry said the car involved in the incident had been stolen a few months ago.
"The initial technical examination also showed that the car contained explosives, and the collision led to their detonation," a ministry satatement said.
"It is estimated that the car was being transported to a location for use in the execution of a terrorist operation," the ministry added.
One resident, who gave her name as Salwa, said bodies
had been fused together by the explosion.
"There was a sound of an extremely loud blast. It was no way two cars crashing. The car must have been rigged with explosives," she said.
Egypt's prosecutor general has ordered an investigation to determine the causes of the collision.
Police said they suspected the Hasm group, an armed affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, of being behind the attack.
Social media users posted footage of cars ablaze at the scene and of patients being evacuated from the Cancer Institute, which was severely damaged and charred in the explosion.
Megahed said 78 cancer patients from the institute were moved to other hospitals to continue their treatments.

More news from MENA