At least 49 kindergarten children in Egypt are dead this morning after a train slammed into their school bus while they were en route to school. The accident happened in al-Mandara village in the Manfaloot district.
The bus was carrying more than 50 children between the ages of 4 and 6, and so far, at least 49 have been reported dead, and between 7 and 11 kids were injured and some of them have severed limbs.
And we can only begin to imagine the absolute horror of this scene, as witnesses are reporting children's books, school bags, clothing, and belongings scattered among the wreckage -- and based on the severity of the accident, it's hard to fathom the level of macabre people are seeing.
If those images aren't heartbreaking enough, parents have arrived at the scene of the accident searching in agony for their children -- and likely wondering how something as routine as putting them on the school bus can result in such unimaginable tragedy.
So, how exactly did the collision happen? Well, from what has been reported so far, it looks as though the railroad crossing was not closed, so the driver likely had no warning that a speeding train was headed straight for the bus.
An eyewitness also reports that the train pushed the bus along the tracks for almost a kilometer. What an absolutely gut-wrenching thing to see -- all while knowing there is nothing you can do to help.
My heart and prayers go out to those poor children and their grieving parents -- the devastation they must be feeling right now is something no one should ever have to go through.
What words of sympathy would you offer to these people?
Image via zolakoma/Flickr