27.9 C
Manila
Thursday, April 9, 2020
 
Home News World Congo train derailed, 50 stowaways killed

Congo train derailed, 50 stowaways killed

At least 50 stowaways were killed when a freight train derailed in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo Thursday (Friday in Manila), the latest rail tragedy to strike the vast central African nation.

“Another disaster! Derailing at 3 a.m. (11 a.m. in Manila, Friday) in Tanganyika [province] near Mayibaridi. Provisional toll: 50 dead and several injured,” the Minister for Humanitarian Action Steve Mbikayi, said in a tweet.

Witnesses at the scene and local media feared more than a hundred people could have been killed.


Victor Umba, the union head of the national rail company SNCC, said the freight train was travelling from the town of Nyunzu to the town of Niemba when two carriages fell on their sides.

“Those who died in this derailment were stowaways. It is impossible for the SNCC to provide any kind of toll,” Umba told Agence France-Presse.

He added that the SNCC’s chief was in the provincial capital of Kalemie trying to find a way to raise the carriages. “It seems that many stowaways are trapped under the derailed carriages.”

Railways in the DRC have a poor record for safety, hampered by derelict tracks and decrepit locomotives, many of them dating from the 1960s.

In March, at least 24 people were killed and 31 were injured Sunday when a freight train carrying illegal passengers crashed in the central region of Kasai.

In November last year, 10 stowaways were killed and 24 injured near the eastern town of Samba when the brakes failed on a freight train.

In November 2017, 35 people were killed when a freight train carrying 13 oil tankers plunged into a ravine in southern Lualaba province.

Like many state companies in DR Congo, the SNCC is on the brink of bankruptcy. Its former head Sylvestre Ilunga is the country’s current prime minister.

AFP

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Sen. Bernie Sanders, who saw his once strong lead in the Democratic primary evaporate as the party’s establishment lined swiftly up behind...

Duterte institutionalizes comprehensive social benefits program for state forces

PRESIDENT Rodrigo has issued an executive order institutionalizing the government's Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP)‬ for police, military and their support units. Through Executive Order...

National ID system pushed to ease delivery of social services

A lawmaker pushed for the immediate implementation of the National Identification (ID) System to help the government deliver services to the people in times...

Tap reservists for Covid-19 response — lawmaker

A lawmaker at the House of Representatives urged the Interagency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Department of National Defense and the...

Britain’s Johnson enters third day in intensive care

LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson began a third day in intensive care on Wednesday battling the coronavirus, which has struck at the heart of...

Today's Front Page