The official report of the train accident in Katanga reports 75 dead, 125 injured of which 28 with trauma. The authorities have set up a commission of inquiry, while some wagons have still not been identified. It is possible that other bodies of passengers are still under tons of scrap metal. Järnvägsbolaget claims that these passengers were free passengers.
From our Kinshasa correspondent,
Investigators led by Marc Manyanga Ndambo, Infrastructure Director of the National Railway Company of Congo (SNCC), began the hearings.
First with passengers to understand how they boarded the freight train. But for the head of the commission of inquiry, a technical diagnosis is also essential: “There are interrogations and a completely technical investigation is underway to try to understand why the drift, why it became this trait. We will hand over the locomotive itself to an in-depth expert to try to understand what happened.
Marc Manyanga Ndambo: “The Commission of Inquiry is there to understand what happened”
The preliminary conclusions will be announced to the authorities before the weekend. The accident could not be linked to the decay of the railway according to this expert and senior executives of the railway company, even though almost half of the borrowed network is in very poor condition. “When you take the railway, there is infrastructure from 1906, from 1933, but there are still some that are a bit renewed. You have over 3641 kilometers, about 1500 that are not in good condition, Marc Manyanga Ndambo explains. “If it is necessary to renew them, it is practically $ 1.5 billion if it is necessary to renew the 1,500 kilometers.”
The company is bankrupt. To survive, they have had to lay off a third of their employees in the last decade. According to a company official, there is no justification for the presence of illegal immigrants in freight trains that are often used by poor people who go to urban areas or mining areas.
These accidents on SNCC’s railway network are regrettable. I tell myself that the dilapidated condition of the railway will always take human lives if the SNCC does not think about renewing the rails.
Anger among the people of Lubumbashi after the train accident
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