Congo Freight Train Derailment Kills 75 in South

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
March 15, 2022 Updated: March 15, 2022

At least 75 people have died after a train derailed in Congo’s southern Lualaba province in Kinteta village.

The toll from the freight train derailment last week rose from 60 to at least 75 over the weekend, Lualaba’s provincial minister of interior Deodat Kapenda said. Those dead were likely illegal stowaways, according to U.N. Radio Okapi.

At least 125 people were also injured and have been taken to two hospitals in the region, Kapenda said.

The train derailed as it went up a hill and a number of wagons fell into a ravine, according to the provincial minister of social affairs Nathalie Lunda Ngandu.

President Félix Tshisekedi offered condolences to the relatives of victims in a tweet.

Train derailments are common in Congo where rail lines and carriages are not well maintained. People will often hop on freight trains to travel long distances because of a lack of good roads and passenger trains.

Nine people died in October when a train derailed in the same province, in Kenzenze in the Mutshatsha area.

By Jean-Yves Kamale