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53 killed in Cameroon train derailment

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-22 05:02

YAOUNDE -- A passenger train from Cameroon's capital Yaounde to economic capital Douala derailed on Friday at around 12:00 local time (5 a.m. GMT), leaving 53 killed and about 300 injured, state radio CRTV reported.

The train derailed in Eseka station in Central Region, around 120 kilometers from Yaounde.

A witness who lives close to the station told Xinhua the train derailed when it approached the station, and said the number of casualties is high.

The train accident took place hours after one part of the Yaounde-Douala road caved in following heavy rain in the night. Many passengers to Yaounde or Douala who would use the road have to choose train, leading the derailed train which left Yaounde Friday morning to Douala took more passengers than usual.

According to reports, the victims' bodies were deposited at the morgue of Eseka hospital, while the injured were admitted to health center of the city and neighboring localities of Puma, Lolodorf and Douala. It was said some injured people are in critical situation, so the death toll may go up.

While talking to state radio after the accident, Cameroonian Minister for Transport Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo'o said that "What seems indisputable is that the derailment resulted to large, human and material loss."

The minister led a delegation to the site after the disaster by helicopter. Cameroonian Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said on state television CRTV the government is taking mesures to take the injured passengers to better-conditioned hospitals.

The train derailment accident is not rare in Cameroon. In August 29, 2009, a train from northern city Ngaoundere to Yaounde derailed in the suburb of Yaounde, leaving 5 killed and 275 injured.

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