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Eseka train accident: Biya prescribes sanctions, compensations

The Head of State has taken decisions based on the findings of a commission of inquiry set up last year…

The Head of State has taken decisions based on the findings of a commission of inquiry set up last year to investigate the cause of the  train derailment that occured in Eseka on Friday October 21, 2016.

In the decree read on national radio, President Biya decided that individuals identified during the investigations to be at fault will be sanctioned. The Head of State also decided that the report of the commission will equally be sent to the law court so that people found guilty will be brought to book.

President Biya in the decree, acknowledge measures being taken by the Cameroon Railway Corporation, CAMRAIL to compensate families affected by the accident and ordered that the measures should be speedily implemented. He also ordered that a complementary sum of 1billion FCFA should be disbursed for compensation of victims. President Biya, according to the decree, said a monument will be constructed in Eseka in memory of those who died during the accident which took place last year.

Among other decisions, the state will henceforth be more involved in the management of the railway network in accordance with agreements signed between government and CAMRAIL several years ago, some of which date back to 2008. He also announced in the decree that a national company for the management of the national railroad network will be created in line with provisions in the said conventions. This company, the decree said, will be in charge of the modernisation of the railroad network in Cameroon as well as its maintenance.

Among the findings of the Yang Commission which hired International experts in train accidents, it was revealed after visits to the site, that CAMRAIL is the main body to be blamed for the accident. The experts said the accident was caused by excessive speed. Which speed they said, was prompted by non-respect of security measures. The report said the train was overloaded and had an irregular extension- some additional wagons had faulty brakes while others had dysfunctional brakes.

The experts also proposed government should improve safety and emergency measures to be taken in case of train accidents.

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