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Train attack: We’re working with security agents to find 21 missing passengers, says NRC

The Nigerian Railway Corporation, on Saturday, announced that it had confirmed the safety of 170 passengers, who boarded the Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday that was attacked by terrorists around 7.45pm in Kaduna.

It, however, stated that 21 passengers on the ill-fated train were still missing, stressing that it was collaborating with security agencies to locate them.

The Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, who disclosed this in a statement he personally signed, also stated that the restoration of the bombed rail track for resumption of normal train services had continued.

On March 28, 2022, suspected bandits attacked the last evening train AK9 on the Abuja-Kaduna train service after destroying the track with explosives, leading to the death of some passengers and 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 NRC suspended train operations on the affected route.

Providing updates on the situation, Okhiria said, “The corporation, in continuation of its concerted effort 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, which had already swung into action, in line with the directive of Mr President to do everything possible to rescue all those that are still missing.

“The corporation is also not resting on its laurels as she has heavily moved human and material resources to the accident site to make sure that train services resume without further delays in order to reduce the stress that our passengers are currently going through.”

Okhiria explained that there were 11 coaches on the train worked by Loco 2502, which was made up of four SPA coaches with 56 sitting capacity per coach and seven SP coaches with 88 sitting capacity per coach.

“Thus, the total seat capacity of the train is 840 seats. You may also recall that the train manifest contained 362 validated passengers aboard the train,” he explained.

The NRC boss stated that a high-powered restoration team, led by directors, were working round the clock to re-rail the coaches affected by the bomb blast.

“There is a co-ordinated two-pronged simultaneous restoration approach. While Loco 2702 with re-railment and restoration materials departed the Idu Station, Abuja, to the bomb blast site, another team with Loco 2502 departed the Rigasa Station, Kaduna, with re-railment and restoration materials to the same site,” he said.

Okhiria stated that as of the close of work on Friday, coaches SP00004, SP00009, SP00012, SP00013 had all been re-railed and safely taken to the Rigasa Station in Kaduna.

He said, “Restoration of track for full resumption of normal train services will continue today (Saturday) April 2, 2022.

“It may also interest you to know that arrangements have equally been put in place for increased security along the track and on board the train to prevent the recurrence of the unfortunate incident.”

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