Pope Sends Condolences for Egyptian Train Accident

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 21, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed his grief for the victims of the worst train accident in Egyptian history, which killed at least 373 on Wednesday.

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In a telegram sent to the apostolic nunciature of Egypt, the Holy Father promised his prayers so that God will gather “in his peace the numerous victims of this tragedy.”

“The Pope expresses his deepest sympathy to the families in mourning because of the tragedy, hoping that they will find consolation and solidarity in their brothers,” adds the papal message, which was sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state.

Likewise, the Holy Father, who this week is engaged in Spiritual Exercises, “invokes the blessing of the Most High on the families and on all individuals wounded by this catastrophe, which causes sorrow to the Egyptian people,” the message continues.

The train was traveling from Cairo to Aswan when it caught fire. The great majority of passengers hoped to participate in Eid al-Adha, the most important Muslim feast, which marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The cause of the train fire was unclear. But suspicion has so far focused on gas cylinders and small stoves which passengers often — and illegally — take on board to cook meals, CNN said.

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