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Egyptian Bus Crash Kills 8 American Tourists

The tour bus that was involved in an accident in Abu Simbel, Aswan about 879 km (546 miles) south of Cairo, is seen 26 Dec 2010.

In Egypt Sunday, eight American tourists died and at least 20 others were injured when their tour bus side-swiped a truck filled with sand on the road from Aswan to Abu Simbel in the south of the country.

The accident occurred just before dawn Sunday when a bus carrying 37 American tourists was traveling between Aswan Airport and the famous temple of Abu Simbel.

The MENA news agency reported the bus collided with a large truck that was stopped on the side of the road. Egyptian TV showed pictures of the bus, with one side peeled away.

The governor of Aswan Province, Mustafa al Sayed, tells VOA that most of the injured were not seriously hurt. He confirmed that eight people were killed, and said the injured were being evacuated by air ambulance to Cairo. He said five passengers, who were not hurt, were sent on to a cruise boat waiting for them on the Nile River.

Egyptian Authorities provided the names of the injured tourists and indicated that six of the eight who died were women. An Egyptian doctor in Aswan said most of the patients were in stable condition. He said four of those who were seriously injured were operated on and doctors were working to set fractures and broken bones.

Adam Lenert, a press spokesman at the US Embassy in Cairo, said U.S. consular officials were traveling to Aswan to investigate the crash.

Egypt has a history of car crashes, often blamed on poor road conditions and lax enforcement of traffic rules.

Following several serious bus crashes in recent years, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism mandated stricter safety rules and vowed to improve the maintenance on tour buses. The Egyptian government has also imposed regulations to prevent bus drivers from working extremely long shifts.

Eight Ukrainian tourists died in a traffic accident last month on the serpentine highway from the coastal resort town of Hurghada to Suez.