50 passengers killed after train derails in DR Congo

At least 50 people were killed when a train derailed in a southeastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday, a minister has said.
Witnesses at the scene and local media feared more than a hundred people could have been killed.
Victor Umba, the union head of the national rail company SNCC, said the freight train was travelling from the town of Nyunzu to the town of Niemba when two carriages fell on their sides.
The accident took place about 3am local time (02:00 GMT) in the town of Mayibaridi in Tanganyika province, Steve Mbikayi, the minister of humanitarian affairs, said.
The death toll was provisional, Mbikayi said, adding that 23 people have been injured in the accident.
"Speaking for the government, I present my condolences to the families affected," he said on Twitter.
Rescue workers have been sent to the scene of the accident, the minister added.
But the governor of Tanganyika, Zoe Kabila, gave a lower estimate: 10 people killed and 30 injured. He said three of the train's carriages had come off the tracks.
Mbikayi later told Reuters news agency the ministry was aware of the contradictory death tolls and was trying to establish the exact number.
Railways in the DRC have a poor record for safety, hampered by poor tracks and decrepit locomotives, many of them dating from the 1960s.
The national railway company confirmed an accident had taken place. Hubert Tshiakama, the company's head of operations, said the untouched front carriages of the train were once again on their way to the town of Kalemie.
"For now, we cannot determine the causes of the accident," he said.
In March, at least 24 people were killed and 31 were injured when a freight train carrying illegal passengers crashed in the central region of Kasai.

In November last year, 10 stowaways were killed and 24 injured near the eastern town of Samba when the brakes failed on a freight train.

In November 2017, 35 people were killed when a freight train carrying 13 oil tankers plunged into a ravine in southern Lualaba province.

Witnesses at the scene and local media feared more than a hundred people could have been killed.
Victor Umba, the union head of the national rail company SNCC, said the freight train was travelling from the town of Nyunzu to the town of Niemba when two carriages fell on their sides.
“Those who died in this derailment were stowaways. It is impossible for the SNCC to provide any kind of toll,” Umba told AFP. He added that the SNCC's chief was in the provincial capital of Kalemie trying to find a way to raise the carriages.
“It seems that many stowaways are trapped under the derailed carriages”.
Railways in the DRC have a poor record for safety, hampered by derelict tracks and decrepit locomotives, many of them dating from the 1960s.
In March, at least 24 people were killed and 31 were injured when a freight train carrying illegal passengers crashed in the central region of Kasai.
In November last year, 10 stowaways were killed and 24 injured near the eastern town of Samba when the brakes failed on a freight train.
In November 2017, 35 people were killed when a freight train carrying 13 oil tankers plunged into a ravine in southern Lualaba province. Like many state companies in DR Congo, the SNCC is on the brink of bankruptcy. Its former head Sylvestre Ilunga is the country's current prime minister.

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South Punjab News : 50 passengers killed after train derails in DR Congo
50 passengers killed after train derails in DR Congo
Minister Steve Mbikayi said the accident happened around three in the morning local time in the town of Mayibaridi and the death toll was provisional, Reuters has reported.
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