TRC: Sabotage to blame for Kigoma-Dar train accident

Residents look at train wagons that derailed near Tabora Train Station at Mololo in Tabora yesterdady. At least four people were reported dead and 132 others injured. PHOTO | ROBERT KAKWESI


  • The train was on its way from Kigoma to Dar es Salaam yesterday had its eight wagons derailed at Malolo, 10 kilometres from the Tabora Train Station

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) said yesterday that vandalism was to blame for the accident that claimed lives of at least four people while 132 sustained injuries.

The train was on its way from Kigoma to Dar es Salaam yesterday had its eight wagons derailed at Malolo, 10 km from the Tabora Train Station.

TRC director general Masanja Kadogosa said the part of the railway was vandalised by bad-intentioned people and thus causing instability to the infrastructure.

“The train was travelling at a low speed, had it not been for this [low speed], things could have been more disastrous,” said Mr Kadogosa.

TRC’s communication and public relations head Jamila Mbarouk said in a press release availed to media that the train with eight locomotives carrying 930 passengers left the Kigoma Train Station for Dar es Salaam on Tuesday at around 8pm before the occurrence of the accident at 11 am in Tabora Region.

Of those who died in the accident, two were adults, with the other two being children aged four months and five years, according to Ms Mbarouk.

“The 132 passengers who were injured have already been rushed to the Regional Hospital of Kitete, Tabora for treatment,” said Ms Mbarouk.

She said TRC was doing all in its powers to facilitate the stranded survivors of the accident so they would travel on to their final destinations, including Dar es Salaam.

Yesterday’s accident is a continuation of many train accidents that have been happening due to recklessness, sabotage and vandalism.

The worst train accident was reported in June 2002 and claimed the lives of at least 110 people and many of the 400 people hurt were critically injured. In June 2018 an accident involving a passenger bus and a cargo train in Kigoma was reported, with at least 10 people succumbing to the accident and 26 others injured.

The accident was caused by recklessness of the bus driver who attempted to cross the railway line while the train was coming.

In November of the same year, nine people were injured after two passenger wagons of a commuter train plying between Dar es Salaam city centre and Pugu station derailed. In May 2017, four wagons of a deluxe train, which was heading to Dar es Salaam from Kigoma were involved in an accident at Nguruka Village in Kigoma Region.

The accident came a few hours after another train, which was heading to Tabora from Morogoro was involved in an accident.

The Morogoro accident left more than 800 passengers stranded. Seven wagons of the train overturned at Mazimbu in Morogoro earlier on Saturday.