German airline crew killed in Egypt car accident

Several Germans and three Egyptians have been killed in a road accident south of the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, but Egypt and Germany were at odds over the death toll.

The TUIfly airline and the German government said four Germans were killed and two injured. Egypt's official news agency said five died.

The Germans were airline crew members on their way to the Hurghada airport early Sunday, police said.

"We are stunned and shocked. Our sympathy goes to the relatives of the deceased. We are doing everything to help the two injured colleagues," TUIfly managing director Dieter Nirschl said in a statement.

MENA said one of the injured crew died in hospital, bringing the number of dead to five, but Germany's government disputed that.

"The German ambassador has reached the scene of the accident. He has also spoken with the two injured at the hospital," said a German Foreign Ministry official. He declined to be named in line with German government policy.

The accident happened when the microbus carrying the Germans entered a main road and crashed into a passing tourist microbus. Both Egyptian drivers were killed.

The police official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Egypt's roads are considered among the most dangerous in the world due to lax enforcement of traffic laws and inadequate infrastructure. About 16,000 people are killed in road accidents each year.

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Associated Press writer Juergen Baetz in Berlin contributed to this report.

Enlargephoto

The aftermath of a two-vehicle accident, which left at least four Germans and several Egyptians dead and others injured, is seen on the road between Hurghada and Safaga on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Egypt's roads are among the most dangerous in the world. Car accidents are common due to lax enforcement of driving laws and poorly paved roads, leading to thousands of deaths each year. (AP Photo)