Yaounde: At least 55 persons were killed and 575 others injured when an overloaded passenger train derailed in Cameroon, media reported on Saturday.
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The train was enroute from Yaounde to economic capital Douala and derailed on Friday at Eseka station, Xinhua news agency reported.
A witness living close to Eseka station said the train derailed hours after a part of the Yaounde-Douala road caved in following heavy rains.
A bridge had collapsed over the nearby highway, forcing more people to seek rail transport. The cause of the deadly derailment was not immediately known.
Cameroonian Minister for Transport Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o said: “What seems indisputable is that the derailment resulted in large, human and material loss.”
President Paul Biya, who is out of the country, has asked the government to give assistance to the victims and investigate the reason behind the accident.
Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the government had dispatched another train to take the stranded passengers to their destination.
The victims’ bodies were taken to the morgue of Eseka hospital, while the injured were admitted to health centre of the city and neighbouring localities of Puma, Lolodorf including Douala.