CAIRO, DEC. 12 (SATURDAY) -- A bus carrying more than 100 schoolchildren home from an outing to the pyramids made an illegal shortcut across railroad tracks and was struck by a train last night, killing at least 50 youngsters, six teachers and their driver, police said.
The passenger train split the overcrowded bus in two, dragging some of the twisted wreckage a half-mile down the tracks in Ain Shams, 15 miles northeast of Cairo, police said. The bus driver, who was killed, was attempting to take an illegal shortcut across the tracks where there was no designated crossing, police said.
At least 50 students, aged 6 to 12, and six teachers were killed instantly when the train struck the bus, according to police. Only a 9-year-old girl was unharmed, the semiofficial newspaper Al Gomhuria reported today.
Another 58 students aboard the bus were seriously injured and were taken to area hospitals, police said. The semiofficial newspaper Al Ahram put the number of injured children at 79.
No one aboard the train was hurt, police said. The train driver turned himself into authorities for questioning.
Al Ahram said the students were returning from a day of sightseeing at the pyramids and the zoo, both in the capital's western suburb of Giza.