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By Reuters

At least 20 people were killed and 40 injured when a major fire erupted at Cairo's main train station.

The blaze is believed to have been triggered by an explosion of a fuel tank on a speeding train.

"I saw a man pointing from the locomotive as it entered the platform, and screaming, 'There are no brakes, there are no brakes’ before he jumped out," eyewitness Ibrahim Hussein told Reuters.

Inside the station, the train's blackened engine could be seen tilted to one side next to a platform.

Egypt has one of the oldest and largest rail networks in the region and accidents causing casualties have been common.

Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce basic safety standards for the railways.

Associated Press contributed.