The Zambia Railways Limited says one of its goods train carrying 24 wagons of coal derailed in the early hours of Sunday December 27, 2020 around Mazabuka and Magoye area.
Zambia Railways Acting Public Relations Manager Sombe Ng’onga , in a press statement , in a statement in Lusaka that the derailment was caused by a blocked drainage that buried the rail line due to heavy rains.
Ms Ng’onga said train number 728 derailed between Mazabuka and Magoye areas in the Southern Province while transporting coal from Batoka to Ndola.
She said that no fatalities were recorded as the crew members are safe and injury free.
Ms Ng’onga explained that no extensive damage has been made to the train or rail line as only the Locomotive, which is the head of the train, capsized and that the 24 wagons carrying the coal are intact.
She said that a recovery team is already on site with the immediate priority of ensuring that the capsized locomotive is re-railed and the rail line opened within 24 hours from the time of derailment.
“Zambia Railways is working round the clock to ensure that the disruption to train services is as minimal as possible” said Ms Ng’onga.
Ms Ng’onga assured clients that efforts have been made to provide adequate security at the scene of the derailment to safeguard both cargo and equipment.
She advised the general public to desist from trading and building structures near the railway line to avoid accidents and loss of life.
“The derailment that we have witnessed in the southern province underscores the need for people to stay away from the railway line, as derailments can cause catastrophic consequences if safety regulations are ignored,” said Ms Ng’onga.