Skip to main content

10 killed in Egypt as minibus plunges off ferry into Nile

Relatives wait on the bank of a canal of the Nile River as rescuers search the waterway for casualties after a minibus sank near Abu Ghalib village in Egypt's Giza governorate
— Cairo (AFP)

At least 10 female farm workers died in Egypt when a minibus plunged off a river ferry and into the Nile northwest of Cairo on Tuesday, the health ministry said.

"The toll is at 10 and could rise," ministry spokesman Hossam Abdelghaffar told AFP.

The state's flagship Al-Ahram newspaper reported the accident earlier and said the driver, who had released the handbrake, was arrested while trying to flee.

He had gotten into "a verbal argument" with one of the passengers before leaving the vehicle, it reported.

The vehicle sank in the village of Abu Ghalib, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) northwest of the capital.

Nine more passengers had been transported to nearby hospitals to receive treatment for their injuries, the health ministry said in a statement.

Egypt's labour minister Hassan Shehata said the minibus was transporting "girls working on a farm", but did not specify whether they were minors.

The ministry of social solidarity said it would disburse financial compensation "to the families of the deceased and injured".

Following an initial investigation at the scene, the public prosecutor's office ordered a technical inspection of the vehicle to determine "the reasons it had plunged into the water", Al-Ahram reported.

Commuter accidents are common in Egypt, especially in agricultural areas along the Nile and its streams, where small, overloaded boats ferry farmers and workers back and forth.