DR Congo Trail Derailment:63 people Killed in Terrible Rail Derailment in DR Congo / Africa News

DR Congo

Officials in the south-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have said that 63 people have been killed after a train carrying more than 200 people derailed in the area.

The incident was said to have happened in the Katanga Province on Tuesday but was never brought to the attention of the press due to remoteness of the area and lack of communication facilities.

With a population of 75.5 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo covers 2,344,858 square km of land in the centre of Africa, making it the 12th largest country in the world.

Officials said the train was supposed to have carried goods only as it is freight carrier but it was overloaded with passengers, some of whom were on top of the carriages.

Provincial Interior Minister for Katanga, Jean Marie Dikanga Kazadi confirmed to the BBC African service that 80 people were severely wounded and another seven were still stuck under the debris and said rescue operation is still underway.

He also added that preliminary investigations suggested the train’s driver had been going too fast – at about 60km/h when the speed limit was 40km/h.

“Evidently the train was going too fast, the driver came to a curve and had to break suddenly leading to the accident,” he said.

Congo Train

Much of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s rail network dates back to colonial time and have had little maintenance after years due to political instability engineered by western powers.

More than 100 people were killed in a 2007 accident involving people travelling onboard a similar goods train in the province of Kasai.

The Country has abundant mineral wealth. It has more than 70% of the world’s coltan which is used to make vital components of mobile phones, 30% of the planet’s diamond reserves and vast deposits of cobalt, copper and bauxite.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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