Seventeen dead in traffic explosion in central Cairo, say health ministry

Seventeen dead in traffic explosion in central Cairo, say health ministry

Seventeen dead in traffic explosion in central Cairo, say health ministry

Seventeen people have died and 32 have been injured in an explosion outside Egypt's National Cancer Institute in central Cairo, Egypt's health ministry said early on Monday.

According to Egyptian-based media, the powerful explosion near the medical facility was caused by the detonation of an oxygen cylinder that was inside of a auto that collided with another vehicle in the centre of the city.

The blast also caused a major fire that was extinguished, state media reported.

TV footage showed the windows of a nearby building were smashed.

Why the crash caused such a large explosion wasn't immediately clear.

The Health Ministry said the affected places were being evacuated.

"We heard an explosion and. the bank entrance glass was shattered everywhere", said Abdel-Rahman Mohamed, a security officer at a bank at the opposite side of the hospital.

Initially, the ministry said 16 people had been killed and 21 others injured in the incident.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Egypt reports that the explosion occurred as a result of a road accident.

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