​Dark Cloud Hangs Over Nation As Train Derails.


With a dark cloud hanging over the country as disasters such as road accidents, floods, landslides and so on, continue taking a centre stage, more than 800 passengers cheated death when part of the train they were travelling on derailed at a black spot, Mazimbu Bridge, in Morogoro, on Friday night.

Though the Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) officials could not be drawn into revealing the cause of the derailment, as “investigations were still in progress,” passengers who witnessed the whole drama had something to say.

Passengers interviewed by this paper said that when they arrived at Mazimbu Bridge, they discovered that it had been submerged in water following heavy downpours that hit many parts of the country.

And according to them, this is the suspected cause of the accident as they believe some parts of the railway line could have been damaged by the rains. They revealed, however, that after the accident they had to stay at Mazimbu for about eight hours before an alternative solution was sought.

A resident of Mgudeni in Mazimbu Ward, Charles Iyongo, who witnessed the accident, told this paper that he heard a loud bang caused by an abrupt train brakes originating from the railway line.

“At first I thought that a cargo train had experienced a mechanical fault, but immediately after I went out to observe the situation, I saw a derailed passenger train,” he said. He pointed out that the area has for sometime been problematic, for it once led to derailment of a cargo train due to worn-out infrastructure.

“During rain seasons, water floods the railway line causing breakdowns and accidents at the area,” the eyewitness noted. TRL Public Relations (PR) Manager, Mr Midladjy Maez, confirmed during a telephone interview that the accident occurred on Friday at 11.25 pm in Mazimbu, Morogoro.

“The accident involved seven wagons of which four glided and three derailed,” noted Mr Maez. He pointed out that the train had 802 passengers onboard and one of the travellers identified as Ashura Mrisho who was heading to Tabora got hit by baggage and was not seriously injured.

He, however, noted that all the passengers were successfully transferred to another train that was coming from upcountry to Dar es Salaam through Lukobe Village Station by buses.

“Another passenger train was on its way to Dar es Salaam from upcountry. So, we decided that the 802 travellers be transferred to that train while those who were heading to Dar es Salaam were ferried to Morogoro where they were to get another train to complete their trip,” noted the PR Manager.

Maez revealed that if all goes well, the train heading to upcountry stations is expected to arrive in Tabora, tomorrow. He observed that the cause of the accident has not yet been identified and technicians were still assessing the situation.

“Our technicians are at the spot as we speak and are working round the clock … our priority is to make sure we resolve the travellers’ issue and make sure they arrive to their destinations, while we are also working to immediately clear the wagons from the railway line,” he said.

Source:Daily News 14/05/2107

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