The whereabouts of 171 passengers out of 362 that boarded the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train which was bombed by terrorists, last Monday, night remain unknown, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) revealed on Saturday.
In a statement signed by the Managing Director of the NRC, Engineer Fidet Okhiria, while 21 passengers out of the 192 have been confirmed missing by their relatives, nothing has been heard or said about the remaining 171 passengers that boarded the ill fated train.
According to Engineer Okhiria, “You will recall that on the 28th of March, 2022, suspected bandits attacked the last evening train, AK9 on the Abuja-Kaduna train service with explosives, leading to the death of some passengers and the destruction of the train and track. Because of the level of damage on the track and in honour of those who lost their lives, the Corporation suspended train operations on the affected route.
“For the records, there were eleven coaches on the train worked by Loco2502, which is made up of four SPA Coaches with 56 sitting capacity per coach and seven SP Coaches with 88 sitting capacity per coach. The train manifests contained 362 validated passengers aboard the train.
“The Corporation, in continuation of its concerted efforts through repeated calls, has been able to confirm the safety of 170 passengers, while 21 passengers are reported missing by their relatives who made calls to us. The Corporation is seriously collaborating with the security agencies who had already swung into action, in line with the directives of Mr. President to do everything possible to rescue all those that are still missing.
“The Corporation is also not resting on its oars as it has heavily moved human and material resources to the accident site to make sure that train services resumed without further delays inother to reduce the stress that our passengers are currently going through. In practical terms, a high powered restoration team led by Directors has been working round the clock to re-rail the coaches affected by the bomb blast.
“There is a coordinated two-pronged simultaneous restoration approach. While Loco 2702 with re-railment and restoration materials departed Idu station, Abuja to the bomb blast site, another team with Loco 2502 departed Rigasa station, Kaduna with re-railment and restoration materials to the same site.
“I am happy to inform the general public that as at the close of work on 1st of April, 2022, Coaches SP00004, SP00009, SP00012, SP00013 have all re-railed and safely taken to our Rigasa Station in Kaduna. Restoration of tracks for full resumption of normal train services will continue today, 2nd of April, 2022.
“It may also interest you to know that arrangements have equally been put in place for increased security along the track and onboard the train to prevent the reoccurrence of the unfortunate incident.”