Tue, 07 Apr 2020

A truck smashed into multiple cars stopped at a checkpoint on a large Cairo road on Wednesday, killing 15 people just a few hours after a nighttime curfew took effect in Egypt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

A dozen people were reported injured in the incident.

Under the curfew, public transport shuts down after 19:00 and people are forbidden from the streets unless they have an exemption.

Authorities said a string of microbuses, trucks and cars were lined up at a checkpoint on a road from southern Egypt into central Cairo waiting for officers to approve their curfew exemptions.

Suddenly, the truck loaded with construction materials ploughed into the cluster of vehicles at high speed, the state-owned Ahram news agency said.

Officials are still investigating what happened. The injured were taken to El Saff Central Hospital in the province of Giza for treatment.

About 8 000 people die from traffic accidents each year in Egypt, where roads are poorly maintained and traffic laws rarely enforced.

The accident happened on a stretch of the capital's ring road known for hairpin turns and speeding traffic.

In its most aggressive response yet to the coronavirus pandemic, Egypt has imposed an 11-hour nightly curfew for its 100 million people.

The health ministry reported more than 50 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the case total to 456, including 22 fatalities.

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