After nearly two weeks of non-service due to the derailment of several wagons from the ArcelorMittal locomotive, normal operations have resumed on the railroad linking Yekepa and Buchanan.
According to Arcelor Mittal’s Communication Manager Ms. Hesta Baker Pearson, the rail line was opened on August 9, after the completion of repair work.
She said the first train of empty wagons traveled to Tokadeh in Yekepa, early morning Thursday of August 10, without any problem and returned to Buchanan with 120 wagons loaded with iron ore.
It may be recalled that on Tuesday, August 2, a train belonging Arcelor Mittal derailed on the Bong County side, about three kilometers from the boundary with Nimba County, near Lamco Camp, in Bong County, and about 165 kilometers from Buchannan.
According to citizens living alongside the railroad in Nimba County town of Duo, the train was en route from Yekepa around 4am, when they heard a very harsh sound of steel rubbing together about 10 kilometers from the where the train finally derailed.
“The rubbing of steel between the train and the track blazed like fire and it made us to think that the train was on fire,” said a security officer on duty the night of the incident.
At the scene of the accident, bolts that were used to tighten the rail on the wood, which serves as the foundation of the rails, were all broken and thrown about 10 kilometers to where the train derailed.
The train was marked number 94, and was loaded with about 70 wagons full of iron ore, heading for the port City of Buchanan.
The derailment affected nearly 16 of the middle wagons, leaving 30 wagons backward and 27 wagons still attached to the locomotive.
The 30 wagons were later pulled back to Yekepa, while the 27 others managed to reach Buchanan on the same train.
The other 16 wagons that were derailed scattered along the tracks, causing extensive damage to the railroad.
Now the sound of the movement of trains has once again resumed along Yakepa –Buchanan railroad, which is about 10 kilometers from the commercial city of Ganta.
The cause of the derailment has been put to mechanical failure, according to Ms. Pearson, who did not disclose the cost of the repair work.