President Paul Biya of Cameroon has pledged to investigate the cause of the Eseka train crash which killed more than 75 people, a toll likely to increase.
The passenger train was carrying more than 1,400 people (which was higher than the train’s 600-capacity) when it crashed. The train was carrying passengers between Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde and the economic hub, Douala, when it ran off the rails of the track near the town of Eseka. This happens to be the deadliest train crash to occur in Africa since the August 2007 Benaleka train accident which killed at least 100 people in Congo.
More than seven people died as a result of the Eseka train crash, with some 600 or more people injured.
“I have ordered an in-depth inquiry into the causes of this accident,” President Paul Biya told the state TV. The president, who was returning from a trip to Europe on Sunday afternoon, added that he has ordered for all medical bills of the victims to be taken care of by the state.
Camrail, a subsidiary of French investment group Bolloré, which operates the passenger and freight traffic in Cameroon, said a special train service has been set up to get bodies at the venue of the crash.
Technicians at Camrail admitted that they had received permission from the command post managing the lines before its journey began. The group expressed their condolences on their Facebook page, while also offering psychological support to the victims of the crash.
Camrail’s Hamadou Sali told reporters:
“A crisis unit was immediately created in the train stations of Yaounde and Douala.”
Many have expressed their condolences on the train crash on social media.
Today, Monday, the 24th of October 2016, has been set as a day of mourning in Cameroon.