CAIRO -- A trailer-truck smashed into multiple cars stopped on a freeway, killing 15 people and injuring a dozen in Egypt’s capital late Wednesday, authorities and state media reported.
The deadly collision occurred a few hours after Egypt’s nighttime curfew took effect to curb the spread of the coronavirus. After 7 p.m., public transport shuts down and people are forbidden from entering 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. The truck loaded with construction materials plowed into the cluster of vehicles at high speed, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper said.
Officials were still investigating to determine 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 imposed an 11-hour nightly curfew for its 100 million people. The health ministry reported more than 50 new infections Wednesday, bringing the case total to 456, including 22 fatalities.