x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Eight American tourists die in Egypt bus crash

Eight American tourists have been killed and another 21 were injured when their bus collided with a truck near the southern Egyptian city of Aswan.

Eight American tourists were killed and 21 were injured on Sunday when their bus collided with a truck near the southern Egyptian city of Aswan, police and the official MENA news agency said.

The bus, which was carrying 37 tourists from the United States, was headed to the ancient Egyptian Abu Simbel temples when it collided with a damaged truck parked on the side of the road, MENA said.

A police official said six of the dead were women. The bus driver and a tourist guide were also injured in the crash, which occurred early in the morning about 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from Aswan.

Four tourists were in critical condition, the police official said, adding that the injured were taken to a military hospital in Aswan.

Some of the wounded, he said, were to be airlifted in the afternoon to a hospital in Cairo that often treats injured tourists.

Seventy-nine tourists on board two other buses in the convoy were unharmed, MENA reported.

A US embassy press official said the mission was aware of the accident and would provide consular assistance to the tourists and their families but did not provide any toll.

Traffic accidents occur frequently in Egypt, often because of poor road condition and lax regulations.

The government estimates that there are 8,000 road accidents a year in the country.

The US State Department warns on its website that travelling on Egyptian highways can be dangerous. Embassy officials are prohibited from travelling outside Cairo after dark because of driving hazards.

Eighteen French tourists were injured when their bus overturned on the same two-lane desert road in January.

The 3,000 year-old granite Abu Simbel temples are a popular tourist attraction.

They were relocated to their present location, about 300 kilometres from Aswan, in the 1960s to prevent them from being submerged by rising waters from the Aswan Dam which was under construction.