Revealed: Minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o validated the decision to add 8 more coaches on Intercity 152
Eric Melet, Chairman of Bolloré Africa Railways has revealed that the decision to add 8 additional coaches on the Intercity train that crashed at Eseka was made by the operator and Camrail and validated by the authorities. Eric Melet made the revelation on October the 25th during a ceremony in honour of victims of the derailed train. The adding of 8 wagons to cope with the passenger infux due to the rupture that occurred on the Douala-Yaounde highway has been blamed by some experts as one of the cause of the accident at Eseka.
The Minister of Transport, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o, earlier hinted that it was the Cameroon Railway Company, Camrail that singlehandedly decided to add 8 additional coaches. The train left with more than a thousand passengers and senior authorities of Camrail have been quoted as saying it was not the first time the company conducted an operation that increased the carrying capacity of the intercity service.
Said the Transport Minister “Camrail as technical operator had taken upon itself to add 8 wagons, bringing the total number to 17 coaches instead of 9.” Eric Melet also indicated that excessive speed played a role in the derailment of the Intercity service 152. Cameroon Intelligence Report learnt the train was traveling at 80 km / h when approaching the station, twice the normal speed.
Admittedly Camrail, on paper is the company that manages the railway system in Cameroon. However, its majority shares 77.4% are owned by the French group Bolloré. The rest of the shareholding is held among the State of Cameroon (13.5%) Total Cameroon (5.3%) and the ESCB (Thanry Group) 3.8%.
By Rita Akana with files from CIN