A short hearing was held on Friday, May 19 in Douala in the High Court on the tragedy of Eseka, the derailment of a train more than six months ago.
According to Radio France International (RFI), the lawyers of the families of those who disappeared from the railway disaster demanded that their parents, who were passengers of this train which had completed its race on October 21, 2016 in Eseka, be brought back alive. Or if their death bodies are found, the bodies should be given to them. They also demand that certificates of death be issued to them.
At this hearing, the lawyers for these families just gave their report to the judge. Camrail’s lawyers then requested a referral, the time for them to read it and provide their response.
A new hearing has been scheduled for next Monday. It should allow for an adversarial examination of these demands. “There is also the delicate issue of the compensation of the victims and their close relatives of this railway disaster, which had caused 80 deaths and more than 600 injured,” says the French radio.
At Camrail, they want to pursue this procedure and the assessment of this procedure in all serenity. While the families of the victims and their lawyers denounce several sprains and a law of silence, be it from the Cameroonian authorities or the Camrail company itself.
The derailment of train 152 near Eseka station in October 2016 officially claimed 79 victims and more than 600 injured. In the aftermath of the tragedy, three investigations had been opened to determine the exact causes of the accident.
Paul Biya, Head of State, had set up a commission of inquiry, headed by Philemon Yang, the prime minister, to determine the causes of the accident and propose “measures to limit the risks of ‘such a catastrophe in the future‘.
For its part, the Bolloré group had opened an internal investigation while the gendarmerie and the judicial police of Cameroon were leading theirs. None of these results has been made public. However, an expert report highlighted the “failure of the braking system“.