Story from Haruna YUSUF, Abuja
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has suspended the Warri-Itakpe train service indefinitely after the train derailed on Sunday, 22nd January 2023 into the forest.
According to Kogi Reporters, one hundred and forty-eight passengers and 30 crew members on board were stranded for some hours owing to the incident.
The Warri-Itakpe train incident is coming barely two weeks after passengers were abducted from a train station in Igueben, Edo State.
Addressing the press, the coordinator of Warri Itakpe Train Service, Sanni Abdulganiyu, who confirmed the incident, said the Warri Itakpe Train Service WITS 01 derailed at km 30 Ajaokuta-Itakpe section of the track at about 12:30hrs on Sunday, 22nd January 2023.
On his part, the Kogi State Commissioner of Police (CP), Akeem Yusuf, said all the passengers of the Warri-Itakpe train that derailed into Kogi forest have been safely evacuated.
Explaining the incident via telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, Yusuf said the Warri-Itakpe train plying the Warri-Itakpe route derailed into a forest between Ajaokuta and Itakpe towns, stranding many passengers.
He said the train had left Warri early morning of Sunday when the unfortunate incident happened around 12 p.m.
“When we got the distress call, I immediately dispatched the rescue team that rushed to the forest to give them cover.
“We didn’t take the report with laxity but ensured that the passengers and the train crew got the desired security cover.
“We were there to ensure no criminal element takes advantage of the situation to do anything funny and gratefully nothing of such happened.
“I can boldly tell you that all the passengers have been evacuated to safety without any cause for alarm,” the CP said.
Yusuf said that what was left at the scene was the wagons of the train, but all the passengers were able to proceed with their journey without any hindrance.