Cameroon – Eseka Tragedy: Camrail rejects the conclusions of the inquiry prescribed by Paul Biya

Written by Deckson N.

Cameroon Railways (Camrail), a subsidiary of the French group Bolloré, vigorously challenged several points in the conclusions of the commission of inquiry prescribed by the Head of State concerning the railway accident on 21 October 2016 in Eséka, which left 79 dead and over 500 injured, according to the official record.

In a briefing issued Wednesday afternoon, only a few hours after the report was published by the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, the concessionaire of the country’s railway indicated” to challenge certain points which appeared in the reports of the experts of the Commission which were communicated to her“, reports the African Press Agency.

The company notes that the Commission’s report appears to call into question the new rolling stock supplied in 2014 in the context of an international invitation to tender for which it confirms that a dispute is open, .

Camrail experts, who put forward the hypothesis of a failure or lack of design of this material as a cause of the accident, demand in turn that international expertise be diligent to confront the different versions.

In terms of victim compensation processes, APA reveals that the carrier and its insurers ensure that they have been mobilized since the first hour, confirming their determination to rapidly finalize all physical and material compensation. “And Camrail said that more than 1000 cases have been investigated to date, with over 30 employees, doctors, counselors and insurers being mobilized daily for the cause.”

The report of the Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Prime Minister Philemon Yang, “established the primary responsibility of the carrier” in the derailment of the Inter City Train No. 152. The investigation report concluded that the main cause of train roll-over was excessive speed (90 km/hour), in a section of track where speed is severely limited (40 km/hour) and in addition to a steep declivity and several tight curves.

Camrail, according to the report, did not respect certain safety rules: the train had serious anomalies and failures including the overloading of the train, an inappropriate extension of the trains, the use of passenger cars, several of which had braking failure devices, the use of a matrix with damped braking was out of service.

Investigators also found that there was no serious check on the continuity of the train’s brakes before leaving the capital, Yaoundé, as well as the refusal by the Camrail hierarchy to take into account the reservations made by the drivers of the train. Because of the aforementioned anomalies and failures.

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Deckson N.

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