Cameroon Train Crash Death Toll Rises to 63; 575 Injured

  • 1,300 passengers on board train from capital Yaounde to Douala
  • Technical investigations underway, operator Camrail says

At least 63 people died and 575 were injured Friday when a crowded passenger train crashed in the West African country of Cameroon, officials said.

The train traveling from the capital Yaounde to the main business center of Douala had 1,300 passengers on board. It crashed at Eseka, 120 kilometers (75 miles) into the journey, Cameroon Railways, a unit of the French group Bollore SA, said late Friday.

A surge in passenger numbers following the collapse of a bridge over a motorway had prompted the addition of eight more wagons to the usual nine-carriage train, the company said. Technical investigations are underway to determine the cause of the accident.

Rescue workers are still pulling bodies out of the wreckage, Transport Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, said by phone from Yaounde. “What is certain is that the human and material damage is huge.”

Cameroon Railways, known as Camrail, operates the country’s only rail service under a concession deal with Bollore in 1999.

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