Up to 40 school children were killed when a train crashed with their bus which had crossed the tracks in a city south of Cairo on Saturday, the official state news agency and a doctor said.
While the official news agency said 40 children died, a doctor at a hospital in Assiut, near the crash site, said the death toll was 38, among them 37 children who were around four to six years old.
"They told us the barriers were open when the bus crossed the tracks and the train collided with it," doctor Mohamed Samir said, citing witness accounts.
He said four children and two women were seriously injured in the accident in the city of Manfalut, near Assiut, which is about 300 km (190 miles) south of the capital.
President Mohamed Mursi ordered his ministers to offer support to the families of those killed, the official news agency reported. Assiut governor, Yahya Keshk, ordered an enquiry.
Egypt's roads and railways have a poor safety record. Egyptians have complained successive governments have failed to enforce basic safety standards, leading to a string of deadly accidents.