Cameroon train accident: 70 killed, hundreds injured as crowded bogies derail

Officials still fear that at least 14 people are trapped under the debris of the train.

Train derailed
Picture for representation Reuters

Around 70 people have been killed and at least 600 injured after a passenger train derailed on Friday in Cameroon, Central Africa. Officials still fear that at least 14 people are trapped under the debris of the train.

Eyewitnesses said they saw the rear carriages swing off the tracks moments before the crash. After the accident, people are being rescued from the carriages strewn across adjacent rail tracks.

The train was travelling from capital Yaounde to the economic hub Douala when the mishap happened. It was also reported that the train was crammed with people as there was a traffic disruption between the two cities.

According to Sky News, a Reuter's journalist travelling in a wagon near the front of the train said: "There was a loud noise. I looked back and the wagons behind us left the rails and started rolling over and over. There was a lot of smoke."

The transport minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo'o also confirmed the news and said that the accident happened just before the train was about to reach the central city of Eseka.

"The cause of the accident is not yet clear," he said, according to the news agency adding that several of the injured were in very serious condition.

Rescue operations are in full force, said Doula regional governor Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua. Emergency services have been deployed from Doula to reinforce teams closer to the scene of the accident, while firefighters were coming from Eseka.

The rail company Camrail, a subsidiary of French investment group Bollore, also announced: "Intervention and security teams have been mobilised." Camrail took to Facebook to expresses condolences to the victims' families.