The state rail company on Saturday announced that a train crash in the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 60 people.
Marc Manyonga Ndambo, director of the infrastructure at the National Railway Company of the Congo (SNCC) train operator, told newsmen that “…The toll is 61 dead, men, women and children (and) 52 injured who have been evacuated.”
Local media quoted the provincial governor Fifi Masuka as saying 60 people had been killed.
The train was a freight service which had been carrying “several hundred stowaways”, said Manyonga said even though this was against the law.
Some of the bodies were still trapped in the wagons that had skidded into the ditch.
Manyonga said the train was made up of 15 wagons, 12 of which were empty, and was coming from Luen in a neighbouring province headed for the mining town of Tenke, close to Kolwezi.
It derailed at 11:50 pm (2150 GMT) on Thursday at the village of Buyofwe, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Kolwezi, “at a place where there are ravines”, into which seven of the 15 wagons fell, he said.
“My team is working hard to clear the track by Monday,” Manyonga added. Without any further explanation about how the accident happened.
Due to the lack of passenger trains or passable roads, people use goods trains to travel long distances. Train derailments are common in the DRC, as are shipwrecks of overloaded boats on the country’s waterways.
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