Seven People Die As Train Loaded With Goods Loses Control

Photo of the derailed train

At least seven people have been reported dead after a train loaded with goods derailed in the South-East Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official said Monday.

The accident which occurred in the village of Buyofwe, Lualaba province on Saturday is the second accident in the area in a fortnight.

According to the official toll, In mid-March, at least 75 people were killed and 125 injured, after a train went off the tracks in the same village.  

Lualaba Interior Minister, Deoda Kapenda told AFP Monday, “Seven people died and 14 were seriously injured in the latest accident." 

The toll could rise because a large number of clandestine passengers were trapped under the upturned wagons, he said. He also added that a rescue team had been dispatched to the scene.

A local official from the national railway company SNCC said the eight-wagon train was travelling from Tenke, in Lualaba, to Kananga, in the neighbouring province of Kasai-Central.

It left the rails in Buyofwe, around 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Kolwezi, the provincial capital of Lualaba.

Trains frequently derail in the vast Central African country, as there are not enough passenger trains and few negotiable roads, so people needing to cover long distances often travel by freight train.

As the spate of train derailment seems a common trend within the African clime, experts suggest these developments, however, may not be only unconnected to overspeeding but also to outdated rail equipment, as well as poor management of the railway system.

A holistic rehabilitation and regular upgrade of the railway network have been, thus, recommended to further ensure a forestallment of future occurrences.


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