Train derailment: Minister orders evacuation of distressed coaches from tracks 

The Minister of Transportation, Said Alkali, has directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to evacuate distressed coaches from the tracks in order to guarantee the resumption of train services as soon as possible days after derailment.

He also demanded for a comprehensive report of the incident.

The minister was reacting to the recent  Abuja-Kaduna passenger train KA2/loco 2702 en route Idu Station, Abuja from Rigasa Station, Kaduna state  which derailed at Jere Station on May 26, 2024

He also explained that the occurrence of the train derailment was due to vandalism and criminality. 

The Abuja-Kaduna and Itakpe-Warri train services have witnessed not less than three derailments between May and July this year.

The train had 685 passengers and crew members onboard. 

On the June 5, another Abuja-Kaduna train derailed at Asham Railway Station in Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State. 

The latest derailment occurred on the Itakpe-Warri rail corridor on the 4th of July, 2024 which led to the suspension of train services.

The minister in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, July 7, while assuring the general public that their safety and security are of utmost importance to the government, added that efforts are ongoing to address the challenges.

 “My attention has been drawn to the widely-circulated reports of the derailment of some coaches of a scheduled train service operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) between Itakpe, Kogi State and Warri in Delta State, which happened on Thursday, 4th July 2024. 

“Upon receipt of the news of this unfortunate incident and enquiries made, my observation is that the unfortunate incident did not result in any fatalities. The incident occurred at Ujewhu near Abraka in Delta State at about 7:15pm on Thursday night. 

“I have directed the NRC, as the operator, to immediately ensure the safety and welfare of all passengers on board the train, ensure the evacuation of the distressed coaches from the tracks in order to guarantee the resumption of services as soon as possible and produce a comprehensive report of the incident for my consideration.”

 “I have also been assured that the NRC has commenced steps in the above direction and all indications point to the fact that normalcy is gradually being restored on the service.

“I further express my candid sympathy with all persons who were on board the train at the time of the incident and wish to assure the general public particularly those patronizing the train services of their safety and welfare.

“The recent incidents involving our trains are currently being addressed through pro-active measures in view of the discovery that a significant number of such incidents were the direct result of incidents of vandalism and criminality along the rail tracks by deviants who do not wish our country well.

“I wish to also direct that all stakeholders in safe and secure operations in the railway industry should immediately put their best foot forward for continuous service to our people and our dear motherland,” he said.

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