Skip to main content

Four French, one Belgian among 10 dead in Egypt bus crash

Ten people, including five Egyptians, four French and one Belgian tourist were killed in a bus crash in southern Egypt on Wednesday
— Cairo (AFP)

Four French tourists and one Belgian were among 10 people killed in a bus crash Wednesday in Egypt, whose travel industry is only just emerging from years of political upheaval and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fourteen others -- eight French and six Belgians -- were taken to hospital with "broken bones, bruises and superficial injuries" but all were in a stable condition, the governor of the southern province of Aswan said.

The other five people killed were all Egyptian -- the bus driver, his assistant and the tour guide, as well as two people in the other vehicle, a statement from the public prosecution said.

The Belgian foreign ministry confirmed to AFP that one of its citizens died and others were injured.

The accident occurred early Wednesday morning when the bus collided with a pick-up as it was transporting the tourists on the 300 kilometre (186 mile) road journey between Aswan and the famed Abu Simbel temple further south.

An AFP photographer saw what remained of the burnt-out vehicles lying by the roadside.

The prosecution ordered an "urgent investigation" to determine "the cause and circumstances of the accident and those responsible".

Crashes are relatively common in Egypt, where many roads are in disrepair and traffic regulations frequently ignored.

Some 7,000 people died in road accidents in the country in 2020, according to official figures.

- Vital tourism industry -

The Abu Simbel temple was moved from its original location in the 1960s under the rule of president Gamal Abdel Nasser to make way for the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

Map of Egypt locating Aswan

Egypt had begun reviving its vital tourism industry by promoting its ancient heritage, after the country's 2011 revolution and ensuing unrest struck the sector.

But the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent global travel bans resulted in a plunge in tourism revenues to $4 billion, from $13 billion the previous year.

The sector employs some two million people in a country of 103 million and generates more than 10 percent of GDP.

In August 2021 Russia resumed flights to Egyptian resorts, six years after a Russian airliner crashed after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

But Russia's invasion of Ukraine has yet again cut off much of the flow of tourists to Egypt, as the two countries accounted for about 40 percent of visitors prior to the war.

The current administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has invested heavily in promoting tourism, and has organised major events in a bid to attract visitors.

Last year, the North African country staged a procession of floats carrying the mummified remains of 22 pharaohs, including Egypt's most powerful ancient queen, to a new resting place in Cairo.

Since the start of April, visitors from dozens of additional countries have been permitted to obtain visas on arrival to Egypt, rather than applying in advance.

While attacks on tourists have largely ceased since they peaked in the 1990s, deadly incidents have occurred.

In September 2015, eight Mexicans were mistakenly killed by security forces in the vast Western Desert.

And in February 2019, a German woman and two Egyptian children were killed when a building collapsed in a residential neighbourhood of the southern city of Luxor.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial