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Egypt bus crash kills 50, most of them schoolchildren

Egypt's transportation minister has resigned over the accident, which has left 47 schoolchildren dead.

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French highway service workers remove belongings from the ground before towing a bus out of the road, on September 2, 2012, after it crashed earlier along the A8 highway, carrying about fifty Romanian nationals, nearby the resting area of the southern French city of Vidauban. 47 children were killed in a bus crash in Egypt Saturday. (Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP/Getty Images)

A bus crash in Egypt Saturday has left 50 dead, most of them schoolchildren, as well as eighteen people injured, including seven in a critical condition. 

A train smashed into a school bus as it crossed tracks near al-Mandara village in the province of Assiut, about 190 miles south of Cairo, Reuters reported

The children went to a private nursery school, and were aged four to eight years old, NBC News reported

The bus was carrying over 50 children, 47 of whom have been reported dead, according to the Associated Press. A security official said the railroad crossing was apparently not closed as the train barreled towards it.

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“I have decided to refer the relevant officials to the public prosecution for fast investigations in order to identify those responsible,” said President Mohammed Morsi, offering his condolences to the victims' families and promising financial compensation, Ahram Online reported

He also said he would launch an investigation into the incident immediately, and that he had accepted the resignations of Transport Minister Mohamed Rashad El-Metini and Railway Authority head Mostafa Qenawi. 

The families of victims held a protest at the crash site, and were seen searching for remains of their loved ones, according to Reuters. 

The railway system in Egypt has a poor record due to badly maintained equipment and poor management, the AP reported. In February 2002, a train heading to southern Egypt caught fire, leaving 363 people dead in the country's worst train disaster. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/121117/egypt-bus-crash-kills-50-most-schoolchildren