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13 people, mainly stowaways, killed in Congo train crash

Police confirmed the toll and said most of the victims were stowaway riders.

Picture: pixabay.com

BRAZZAVILLE - Thirteen people, mainly stowaways, were killed when two trains collided overnight in Republic of Congo, the Congo-Ocean Railway (CFCO) company and police said Monday.

Several others were injured in the crash between a train transporting freight and another with a mineral load, a CFCO agent told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"A train transporting minerals experienced a technical failure and crashed with a freight train," said the source.

The crash happened near the port city of Pointe-Noire.

Police confirmed the toll and said most of the victims were stowaway riders.

The mineral train belonged to the Sapro mining company, and had departed from Mayoko, some 300 kilometres northeast of Pointe-Noire, where Sapro excavates iron ore.

Constructed when Congo was a French colony, the CFCO train line from Pointe-Noire in the southwest to Brazzaville in the southeast, near the border with much larger neighbour DR Congo, is a key economic artery.

Traffic along the line was interrupted for two years from 2016 to 2018 due to clashes between the army and the rebel "Ninja" militia loyal to a former prime minister.

The last accident on the CFCO line, in June 2010, killed 53 people.

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