World | Africa

October 24, 2016

Death toll in Cameroon train crash hits 79

The death toll in last week’s train crash in Cameroon has climbed to 79, state radio said Monday, as the authorities continued to comb through the wreckage.
Passenger escape the site of a train derailment in Eseka on October 21, 2016.

Passenger escape the site of a train derailment in Eseka on October 21, 2016.

On Sunday, 11 more bodies were pulled from the debris of the packed passenger train that derailed on Friday between Cameroon’s two main cities, CRTV reported.

At least 79 people were killed and 600 injured after a packed train derailed between two major cities in Cameroon on Oct. 21.

The Camrail train, which is managed by French industrial giant Bollore, was overturned on the tracks in the town of Eseka, between the capital, Yaoundé, and Douala.

Cameroonian citizens are furious that president Paul Biya, who has been out of the country since the summer, has not returned home. On his Facebook page, Biya sent his condolences to the families of those involved and declared Monday a national day of mourning.

In power since 1982, Biya has been criticized in the past for his long stays abroad. Many have pointed out that the train was overcrowded because the road that connects the two cities collapsed that day. The train that derailed had about 1,300 passengers when it normally carried 600 passengers, according to rail officials.

Text by Quartz
 

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