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General News of Sunday, 13 May 2001

Source: From Rebecca Osei-Edwards, Koforidua

Derailment at Koforidua

The nation was saved another tragedy yesterday afternoon when all passengers on board a Kumasi-Accra bound night train, escaped unhurt, when the train derailed at Kru Town at Koforidua.

The train was carrying a large number of passengers, mostly female traders who were travelling to Accra to sell their food items and other wares.

Fortunately, there were no casualties. Neither did anybody sustain injuries.

The assistant driver of the train, Mr Emmanuel A. Danso told the Graphic that the accident might have been caused by the poor nature of the rails at that portion of the rail line.

He said on reaching a sharp curve near the Evangelical Presbyterian Church at Kru Town, he realised that the speed as registered by the load ammeter had reduced so he stopped and when he came down, he realised that the rear van had detached itself from the other coaches and the remaining five had derailed.

When the Graphic visited the scene of the accident, it was realised that sleepers at that portion of the rail line were rotten and their shanks (bolts) had been removed.

The iron tracks had also sunk into the ground due to the muddy nature of the area.

Passengers and on-lookers blamed the Ghana Railway Authority for the accident which they attributed to their failure to undertake regular maintenance of the rail lines and urged the authority to immediately repair damages on it, to forestall a fatal accident in the future.

The passengers were later transferred onto a standby train, to continue and their journey.