The trains, one from the capital of Cairo and the other from Port Said, collided yesterday at 14:15 local time.
Reports indicate that one of the trains was shut down after a malfunction. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said the accident is due to “human error”.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered an investigation to be opened, and the government promised financial compensation to the families of the victims.
This incident could trigger a new anger over the poor management and bad conditions of the country’s transport systems, reports Sebastian Usher, editor for Arab affairs of the BBC.
In 2013, dozens of people were killed when a train collided with a minibus and other vehicles south of Cairo.
Egypt’s deadliest railway accident occurred near the capital in 2002, when a fire ravaged a train, killing more than 370 people.