At least 40 people are dead following a multi-vehicle car and train accident Wednesday in northern Egypt.

Police said another 50 people were injured in the crash, which they said occurred when a large truck slammed into three vehicles at an intersection, driving them onto the train tracks.

The cars were smashed when the train, travelling from Matruh to Alexandria, arrived at the intersection.

The accident occurred in the Mediterranean city of Marsa Matrouh, about 430 kilometres northwest of the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Despite initial police reports that only 20 were killed in the accident, 35 people were finally declared dead at the scene after more bodies were pulled from the wreckage. An additional five died in hospital.

Recent statistics show at least 8,000 people in Egypt died in vehicle accidents in 2006, largely due to speeding and poor road conditions.

In May, a bus carrying dozens of foreign tourists overturned and caught fire, killing at least nine people and injuring 29, including two Canadians.

With files from the Associated Press