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5 Aug, 2007 04:38

Russian girl badly injured in car accident in Egypt

A Russian girl is in a serious condition in hospital in Egypt after a road accident whilst on holiday. Egyptian roads are some of the most dangerous in the world with 6,500 people killed on them every year.

Olga Lobanova had come to Egypt with two friends for three months to learn Arabic. The girls had been visiting Alexandria and decided to get a ride back to Cairo with a local man in wheel.

The driver was speeding when he hit a lorry. He escaped with minor injuries and has been arrested. Two of the girls have now been discharged but Olga remains in a serious condition. She has a broken spine and internal injuries.

None of the girls had health insurance and the operation costs $US 7,000.

There's little concept of road safety in Egypt. Drivers use hand signals to turn and passengers get on and off moving buses. In the tourist season the problems are aggravated by the long hours some drivers have to put in behind the wheel. A driver may get just a few hours sleep in the baggage compartment, before swapping back with his colleague.

With practices such as this commonplace its unlikely road safety in Egypt will improve any time soon.