About 240 000 litres of diesel may be lost after a train belonging to Central East African Railways (Cear) derailed at Makata industrial area in Blantyre this morning.
The train consisting of two locomotives and six wagons was coming from Blantyre going to Cear Limbe Station.
When Nation online visited the place, scores of middle aged men were seen leaving the area in frustration with empty buckets and jerry cans after police had dispersed them to prevent an accident. There was huge spillage of fuel from the wagons.
According to Cear Communications and Corporate Image Manager Chisomo Mwamadi, the two locomotives got disconnected while at Midima Dam Bridge and due to gradient, one locomotive and the six wagons started moving backwards and eventually overturned two kilometres away.
“To make sure everybody is safe, we immediately engaged the police and the city council who barricaded the area and two fire fighters were deployed in case of any fire explosion,” explained Mwamadi adding that each wagon was carrying 40 000 litres of diesel.
Mwamadi further said nobody was injured in the accident and the company is yet to establish the cause of the accident and calculate the extent of damage.
An eye witness, Moses Damiano, a police officer attached to Mota Engil, a company that is upgrading the railway line in the area, said he noticed the wagons descending in an unusual speed and alerted his colleagues to move away from the area.
“The wagons then hit a stationary grader and fell. Few minutes later, scores of men from surrounding areas including Ndirande Township started flocking to the scene of the accident to get fuel but we managed to disperse them,” explained Damiano who was guarding Mota Engil machinery with his colleagues when the accident happened.