Cairo: Reckless driving and poor roads are often blamed for Egypt’s road accidents rate, one of the world’s highest.

However, survivors of a crash that took place Friday in Egypt’s Nile Delta found out that there is a third culprit.

Seventeen farm labourers were injured outside the capital Friday after the truck they were riding turned over because of a stray cat, local media reported.

The driver of the pick-up truck tried to avoid hitting the cat when the animal suddenly appeared on a provincial road in the governorate of Dakahlia, about 120km north east of Cairo, private newspaper Al Watan said online, quoting survivors.

The driver lost control of the wheel and the vehicle flipped over, leaving 13 women and three men injured, the paper added.

The injured were transported to the province’s emergency hospital. Ten of them sustained fractures in legs, ribs and the pelvis, the hospital said.

Seven others left the hospital after they were treated for bruises and minor injuries, it added.

Pick-up trucks are often used in Egypt’s rural areas for transporting people.

Around 3,400 people were killed and 13,998 others injured in road crashes in Egypt last year, according to figures from the state statistics bureau.

The Egyptian government has recently toughened traffic penalties in an attempt to curb the country’s road mishaps.

Over the past four years, a large network of new roads has been built across Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous with about 100 million people.