Dozens killed after train derails in DR Congo

At least 50 people were killed when a train derailed in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, a minister has said.

The accident happened around 3am local time in the town of Mayibaridi in Tanganyika province, Steve Mbikayi, the minister of humanitarian affairs, said.

The death toll was provisional, Mbikayi said, adding that 23 people have been injured in the accident.

“Speaking for the government, I present my condolences to the families affected,” he said on Twitter.

Rescue workers have been sent to the scene of the accident, the minister added.

Railways in the DR Congo have a poor record for safety, hampered by poor tracks and decrepit locomotives, many of them dating from the 1960s.

In March, at least 24 people were killed and 31 were injured Sunday when a freight train carrying illegal passengers crashed in the central region of Kasai.

In November last year, 10 stowaways were killed and 24 injured near the eastern town of Samba when the brakes failed on a freight train.

In November 2017, 35 people were killed when a freight train carrying 13 oil tankers plunged into a ravine in southern Lualaba province.

More soon.

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