At least 70 people were killed and nearly 600 injured when an overloaded passenger train travelling between Cameroon’s two largest cities derailed and overturned.
Transport Minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o said Friday’s accident took place near the central town of Eseka – 120km west of the capital Yaounde – as the train travelled to the economic hub of Douala.
“The cause of the accident is not yet clear,” said the minister, via state broadcaster CRTV, adding that several of the injured were in a very serious condition.
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“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the Camrail train derailment in Eseka. Over 70 passengers died and 600 wounded in the accident,” President Paul Biya, wrote on his official Facebook page.
Rail officials said the train had been carrying 1,300 passengers, instead of the usual 600. The collapse of a bridge along the main highway between the capital and Douala had prompted more people to undertake the journey by rail.