At least 49 school children were killed and 11 others injured when a train collided with a school bus carrying children to their school in southern Egypt on Saturday, Egypt's official state news agency said.

Local media reports said that the train hit the school bus at a railroad crossing in the city of Manfalut, near Assiut, south of Cairo. 

"There are several deaths and injuries among the pupils. They are being counted and taken to hospitals," Mamdouh al-Weshahi, a senior Health Ministry official, was quoted as saying by DPA.

According to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity, it appears that the railroad crossing was open as the train sped towards it.

Most of the children killed were kindergarten students, and distraught parents and relatives searched for the kids' remains along the tracks, local media reported.

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A local governor has ordered a probe into the accident, and President Mohammed Morsi has directed the officials to “offer all the assistance to the families of the victims," according to the official MENA agency. 

Transport Minister Rashad al-Metini and the head of the Egyptian Railway Authority have resigned following the incident, according to MENA.

Train accidents are common in Egypt as the country's railway system has a poor safety record.

Four people were killed and 32 others injured when two trains collided in Fayum, a city in the southwest of Cairo, last Sunday.

In 2002, 376 people were killed in the country’s worst railway accident when a packed train traveling from Cairo to Luxo caught fire.