Derailment of Congolese freight train kills 75 people in the south

At least 75 people were killed after the train derailed in the village of Kinteta, Luaraba, in the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The number of victims of freight train derailments last week increased from 60 to at least 75 over the weekend, said Deodat Kapenda, Minister of Interior of Luaraba. According to UN Radio Okapi, these dead were probably illegal stowaways.

At least 125 people were injured and taken to two hospitals in the area, Capenda said.

According to Natalie Lunda Ngandu, Social Minister, the train climbed a hill and derailed when many wagons fell into the canyon.

President Felix Tshisekedi expressed his condolences to the victim’s relatives in a tweet.

Train derailments are common in Congo, where railroads and rolling stock are not well maintained. Due to the lack of good roads and passenger trains, people often travel long distances on freight trains.

Nine people died in October when trains derailed in the same state in Kenzenze in the Muchacha region.

By Jean-Yves Kamale

Associated Press