Cameroon rail operator to appeal disaster conviction

2018-09-28 10:07


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Cameroon rail company Camrail said on Thursday it will appeal its conviction along with 10 of its executives of manslaughter for a 2016 rail disaster that killed 79 people and injured around 600.

The Cameroonian branch of France's Bollore group, in which the state holds a 13 percent stake, was Wednesday also ordered to pay $89 000 to the victims, Guy-Olivier Moteng, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, told AFP.

Camrail said it would "immediately appeal this decision", in a statement sent to AFP.

The train was travelling between the capital Yaounde and the economic hub of Douala when it derailed on October 21, 2016.

A government inquiry found that Camrail was mainly to blame for the derailment as the train was going at more than twice the speed limit, was overloaded and its brakes were defective.

Moteng said the compensation ordered by the court was far higher than the initial estimate of three million euros.

Camrail said the government inquiry was marked by a "complete lack of qualified and competent expertise" and said the experts were former employees who bore a grudge against the company.

It said the engine of the train had undergone the necessary checks and tests.

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