Wednesday, 23 April 2014

63 killed, 80 injured in Congo train crash

At least 63 people were killed and 80 were seriously injured in Democratic Republic of Congo's Katanga province when a train speeding too fast round a bend derailed.

Fifty others were trapped inside the goods train after 12 of its carriages flipped off the track in the accident near Likasi, a mining town between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi in the copper and cobalt-rich southeast.

"Evidently the train was going too fast, the driver came to a curve and had to break suddenly leading to the accident," said Dikanga Kazadi, Katanga's interior minister.

He said the priority was rescuing those still trapped and a team had been sent to investigate the cause of the accident.

A witness said he counted 37 bodies at the scene.

"There were two train engines and two carriages overturned," he told Reuters, asking not to be named.

The DRC's antiquated train network is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme paid for by the World Bank.

Train accidents are fairly common in the restive country, and there has been only scant investment in the system -- which was originally built by Belgian colonisers -- since the country gained independence in 1960.

In September 2012, four people were killed and another 37 injured after an accident north of the second largest city Lubumbashi.

More than 100 people were killed in a 2007 accident involving people travelling onboard a goods train in the province of Kasai Occidential.

Wednesday 23 April 2014


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