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Minor derailment leaves passengers stranded

Minor derailment leaves passengers stranded

Niël Terblanché

A TRAIN on its way from Windhoek to the coast partly derailed between Okahandja and Kariribiblate on Sunday night.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of the national rail carrier TransNamib, Johny Smith, confirmed the incident and stated that it was a minor derailment.

 

“A minor derailment entails that problems with the tracks or the foundation of the line causes the locomotive and some of the cars to partly derail. In this instance only the locomotive went off the tracks but the machinery did not sustain any serious damage,” Smith said.

 

train windhoek derailed okahandja sunday
Pictured: The steel wheel of a locomotive that derailed on the line between Okahandja and Karibib late on Sunday night. – Photo: Contributed

 

Smith indicated that technical teams were sent out to get the train back on the tracks while a formal investigation has been launched into the actual cause of the derailment.

 

He said the few passengers on the train were stranded for a few hours but that a bus dispatched from Windhoek picked up the passengers and that they reached Swakopmund safely.

 

One of the passengers onboard the ill fated train heard on the scene of the minor derailment that a faulty track switch might have caused the locomotive to run off the line.

 

The passenger said that he and a handful of his fellow travellers were initially picked up by two double cab bakkies from TransNamib to be transported to the waiting bus.

 

Smith said minor derailments are quite common in Namibia because of technical issues caused by normal wear and tear on infrastructure.