Congo: Tragic train crash leaves several dead

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Dozens of deaths and injuries were recorded Monday night in Congo, when a coastal train belonging to the Chemin de fer Congo-océan (CFCO) derailed and crashed into a ravine. The cause of the accident is not yet known.

An accident occurred Monday night on the Congo-Ocean Railway, the main railway line plying Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, the economic and political capitals of Congo.

“There was a grave train accident during the night 60 kms from Pointe Noire,” Joseph Saveur El Bez, the country’s CFCO rail company chief is quoted as saying by AFP. “There are dozens of victims and injured.”

According to him the mortal remains of the dead and injured have been taken to morgues and hospitals in Pointe-Noire.

only coastline link

The cause of the tragedy that took place “between the towns of Bilinga and Tchitondi” remain unknown. The number of victims are also not known, according to sources contacted by AFP at the Congolese Ministry of Transport.

Reuters has however reported that about sixty people were killed after four wagons of the train derailed and plunged into a ravine. According to the agency, citing an anonymous source from the rail company, “the train took a corner that turned out to be fatal”.

The rail company has suffered “at least two serious accidents in recent years” worsening the Central African country’s poor transport infrastructure history.

Many lives have been claimed since the construction of this railway, which connects the hinterland to the coastal area — with Pointe-Noire Congo being home to the only port. The rail company was established in January 6, 1921, while the railway line was inaugurated on July 10, 1934.

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