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People extinguish a fire from a blast outside the National Cancer Institute, Cairo, Egypt August 4, 2019.SHOKRY HUSSIEN/Reuters

A multiple-car crash killed 19 people, injured 30 others and forced the evacuation of Egypt’s main cancer hospital, the government said.

The health ministry said in a statement that four cars crashed late Sunday, causing a blast outside the National Cancer Institute in the capital, Cairo.

The interior ministry said one car was speeding and collided with the others, causing the explosion. But why the crash caused such a large explosion wasn’t immediately clear. It also wasn’t clear if the casualties were all from the vehicles.

The cancer treatment facility was evacuated after the crash, which happened near the famed Tahrir Square.

Bank security worker Abdel-Rahman Mohamed said Monday, “We heard an explosion and … the bank entrance glass was shattered everywhere.”

The bank is at the opposite side of the hospital.

The health ministry said the injured people were taken to hospitals for treatment.

Road accidents are common in Egypt. The country’s official statistics agency says 8,000 crashes last year caused more than 3,000 deaths and 12,000 injuries.

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