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    Wednesday, 5 September 2018

    At least 17 killed in Angola railway crash

     At least 17 people were killed and 12 injured in Angola on Tuesday when two trains crashed head-on in the country's southwest, according to the office of the region's governor.
    The accident happened in the early hours near Munhino in Namibe province when a train run by the state rail operator smashed into a stationary maintenance train that was being operated by Chinese engineers.
    "The accident claimed at least 17 lives including the two drivers, one Angolan and one Chinese, as well as injuring 12," said the governor's office in a statement.
    An investigation into the incident which appeared to have been caused by human error has now been launched, it added.
    "An on-duty railway employee was warned by the Chinese maintenance crew but could not prevent the departure of the train, loaded with granite, from Lubango station", said a local official who declined to be named.
     One of the trains belonged to the Mocamedes railways Caminho-de-Ferro de Moçâmedes (CFM) while the other was a Chinese-owned railway maintenance machine.
    CFM head Daniel Quipaxe said the two drivers, one Angolan and one Chinese, were among those killed.
    The Angolan news agency Angop quoted a source saying the CFM authorities might have failed to issue an alert about the Chinese conducting routine railway maintenance.
    No fatalities
    Mr Quipaxe added that the fatalities could rise owing to the number of the those critically injured.
    The Tuesday accident was the second since the beginning of the year on the 260km line between Lubango and Mocamedes.
    Another train derailed in February, but no fatalities were reported.
    Namibe Province is located on the southern coast of Angola, and bordered by Benguela and Huila provinces to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and River Cunene and the Republic of Namibiat o the south.
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