Death toll in Cameroon train derailment rises to 79
The death toll in the train derailment accident in Cameroon has risen to 79, Cameroonian national state television CRTV reported on Monday.
Rescue workers recovered more bodies from the derailed train cars on Sunday, two days after the accident happened in Eseka station in Central Region, about 120 km southwest of capital Yaounde.
About 600 injured passengers are having free treatment in different hospitals.
The train left Yaounde at around 10:30 a.m local time Friday for economic capital Douala. It carried about 1,200 passengers, the number of which was two times more than usual, for the road from Yaounde-Douala was disconnected early Friday morning because a bridge over it in Manyai, a village about 68 km to Yaounde, collapsed after heavy rain.
With so many passenger who had planned to take bus having to choose train, railway authorities added more cars to the train in order to take more passengers.
The authorities installed a temporary bridge to replace the collapsed one in Manyai on Saturday. The traffic is thus restored on Yaounde-Douala road, which is one of the most important roads for trade within the Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community.
Speaking to the media after coming back from abroad on Sunday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya called on all Cameroonians to be united in front of the tragedy.
Cameroonians are mourning the victims on Monday, which was declared national mourning day by President Biya on Saturday. The national flag are flying at half mast throughout the country and in Cameroon's diplomatic offices.