Train crashes into pickup truck in Egypt; kills 20 people

CAIRO (REUTERS) - More than 20 people died and another 20 injured when a train crashed into a pickup truck and a minibus near Cairo, the state news agency MENA said early on Monday.

The train, coming from Aswan and passing through Bani Swaif, crashed at a crossing near the Giza district, state media said.

The incident could spark protests by the Egyptian public who have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce even basic safeguards, leading to a string of deadly crashes.

The driver of the train was caught by surprise when the minibus and pickup stormed into the crossing, Hussein Zakariya, head of Egypt's railway authority was quoted as saying on MENA.

"We are still investigating the incident and once we are done we will issue a statement," an Interior Ministry source said.

Roads and railways in Egypt have a poor safety record. The transport network has come under attack last year when 50 people, mostly children, were killed after a train crashed into a school bus south of Cairo.

The country's worst train disaster was in 2002 when a fire ripped through seven carriages of an overcrowded passenger train, killing at least 360 people.

Egypt's interim government, appointed after the army ousted President Mohamed Mursi on July 3, has announced plans to improve transportation.