LUSAKA, Sunday November,26th 2023-
The Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has regretted the accident involving a south -bound Passenger train and a truck and trailer that occurred at Kafue’s Shikoswe Level Crossing at 20:15 hours last evening.
In a statement today, ZRL Acting Public Relations Manager Sombe Ng’onga disclosed that preliminary investigations have revealed that truck registration number ADE 8091 and trailer number ADE 8076 belonging to Sinoma Company loaded with crushed stones failed to stop at the level crossing after several whistling sounds by the train driver and in the process collided with the passenger train number 601.
Ng’onga explained that this resulted in two locomotives capsizing and one of the passenger coaches tilting on the side . Fortunately ,there were no fatalities recorded.
Ng’onga said the ZRL has since made arrangements to repatriate all the passengers on the train by road using buses to their respective destinations.
The ZRL further stated that the company is working round the clock to ensure that the blocked level crossing is opened as soon as possible to ensure normal flow of traffic .
Ng’onga added that a recovery team is already on site working tirelessly to ensure restoration of normal movement of road and rail traffic.
Ng’onga said the failure by the truck driver to observe the traffic rules is unfortunate as it posed a huge risk to the many lives that were on the passenger train.
Ng’onga further noted that this accident is a huge cost to ZRL through repairs of damaged equipment as well as the rail infrastructure.
“ZRL is deeply concerned with the increasing number of level crossing accidents as a result of motorists wilfully disobeying the traffic rules. An earnest appeal is made to motorists to observe traffic rules for their own safety and other road and rail users.” Ng’onga said
And Ng’onga reiterated the need for concerted efforts among stakeholders such in addressing rail- road safety issues.
And Ng’onga stated that ZRL appreciates the assistance rendered by the Zambia Police, the Fire Brigade team, the Road Transport and Safety Agency as well as the Government Officials led by Kafue District Commissioner during this regrettable incidence.
“The inconvenience caused to the travelling public is regrettable.” Ng’onga said