Minibus plunges into ditch in horror crash killing 21 people including three children

A minibus has plunged into a ditch in a horror crash in Egypt killing 21 people, including three children.

The vehicle was driving through Aga, in the northern Dakahlia province, 60 miles north of the capital, when it toppled into the Mansoura canal.

It was effectively stuck vertically in the swamp-like terrain, leaving the passengers helpless as it slowly sank.

A rescue team worked to free passengers as police cordoned off the scene though a large crowd gathered, reports the Daily Star.

Some passengers were pulled out alive.

Photos show some managed to escape and stand atop the bus which was eventually completely submerged.

Dr Sherif Makeen, a health ministry official, said three children were among the dead but the nationalities are unknown.

Egyptian media outlets reported the accident was caused by the malfunctioning of the steering wheel but did not elaborate further.

It is believed the bus was on its way to the city of Mansoura.

Traffic accidents of this kind are sadly not uncommon in Egypt where roads across the country’s vast rural areas are often badly maintained.

Officials say around 7,000 people were killed in the ancient city in 2021 while WHO estimated road traffic accidents accounted for almost 2% of total deaths in 2020.

“A minibus carrying 14 people, including the driver heading to a highway bridge was hit by a lorry coming very fast from the opposite road under the bridge,” a statement posted on Dakahlia province’s Facebook at the time said.

In July of this year 25 people were killed in central Egypt after a bus collided with a truck, while in October 11 people were killed and nine others injured in another road accident in Dakahlia province, north of the capital.

Nonetheless, Egypt’s traffic safety record by deaths is dwarfed by many other countries, with Liberia having the highest number of traffic deaths per 100,000 in the world at 36 followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo at 34, and the Central African Republic also at 34.