ArcelorMittal Ore Train Derailed

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ArcelorMittal train derailed in derailed in Zuluyee

No casualty reported

A train belonging to steel giant ArcelorMittal-Liberia on Saturday, June 13, 2020, derailed in Zuluyee (between Ganta and Sanniquellie) while en route to Buchanan from the mining town of Yekepa in Nimba County.

“We heard a loud sound and woke up in fear, thinking that it was an explosion,” said an elderly woman who lives near the track.

It is not clear what really led to the accident as a portion of the rail got disassembled under the weight of the locomotive. ArcelorMittal’s Corporate Communication Manager, Amanda Hill, says an investigation has commenced into possible mechanical failure or malfunction on one of the wagons. There were 66 wagons carrying iron ore from the Tokadeh to Buchanan. About 38 wagons were detached from the locomotive during accident.

This is the first time in almost four years, since another locomotive derailed between Nimba and Bong, leaving ore scattered all over the scene of the accident.

As was with the previous accident, this one recorded no casualty, except that some of the wagons disconnected from the locomotive and dumping the iron ore on board the wagons.

Release from ArcelorMittal Liberia says rail operations have been temporarily suspended and recovery teams have been mobilized. Company engineers are working to restore operations as soon as possible, taking all necessary safety and anti-COVID-19 precautions for employees and the local community, as well as protecting the environment.

5 COMMENTS

  1. We as Railway engineers are deeply saddened by this. We hope that all necessary investigative procedures be carefully considered so that the root cause be unveiled. If need be, our expertise is available.
    AML, be operational soon…

  2. The rail and all the facilities in Yekepa and Buchanan had not been maintained for more than 15 years.
    Eager to exploit the Liberian people, ArcelorMittal endeavored to embark on a quick and unprofessional repair of the rails with cheap human resources.
    With the hope of quick return on investment, and given the colossal loss suffered by the company on the New York stock exchange during the financial crisis, it was decided that operations on the Tokadeh Mines start immediately.

    Tokadeh does not represent even 15% of the capacity of the Nimba Mines, and so most part of the community still lays waste and void of basic infrastructure once visible in the community.
    The main Nimba mountains have NEVER been touched by ArcelorMittal, why? They do NOT have the financial capacity to do so.

    Look, this is no politics. Financially, ArcelorMittal is not capable of reviving Yekepa. Let the Liberian government take the bull by the horn and invite the company to a roundtable discussion. Frankly tell them to handover the company to the Swedish again. ArcelorMittal will be recompensed fairly.

    If Yekepa is operational at 100%, Firestone, LAC and CARI revived professionally, Liberia will regain its normal days’ status and even surpass other neighboring countries.
    Let’s stop pleasing people, let’s do business! There is no friendship or pity in business but economic, financial and social interests.

    Act for Liberia, Gbekugbeh!

    • Petarus Dolo, did your “Swedish Company” inform you or anyone they have any interest in the Yekepa mines anymore, and the Liberian government rejected their offer?? Remember, the Lamco Mines operation was a joint venture. This is why it was called the LAMCO JV Operating Company.

      • True Nationalist,

        Well, I don’t know if you are just using a pseudonym or you represent the name? From reading you ever since I came to this forum, I think it’s just a pseudonym. I wish you would live up to the true meaning of those words.

        To succinctly reply to your question, know that LAMCO left Liberia long before the onset of the Liberian civil war. Do you know why? Because of stupid and greedy politics from an inept, uneducated, gruesome and immature junta.

        Tolbert had started the execution of the Liberianization policy to enable our people to professionally, maturely and sustainably take over the company with the ultimate long-term goal of exporting some semi-finished and finished products using Liberian human capital. Unfortunately, you know what happened to Tolbert in 1980.

        LIMCO (Liberia Iron Mining Company), with share capital partly owned by the British, was operating the mines before the onset of the war.
        When Ellen was elected as president, all these people or corporations expressed interests to come back to Yekepa. To date, they want to come back to Yekepa, YES, they want to!
        They were not given the opportunity because of corruption. Ellen wanted money to foot her war bills and so she opted for people who would support and uphold opaque business dealings. They are exploiting our people currently working there. Our people are treated and paid as low as jumbo loans in their own country and from their own natural resources. It is scandalous!
        Do you know that Mount Nimba has NEVER been touched by Arcelor Mittal? They are extracting ores from Tokadeh, very far from Yekepa and close to Sanniquellie.

        Let’s accept the deals proposed by LAMCO, accept to waive taxes for about 10 years and enable them to revive the mines and communities. In so doing, Liberia will gain enormously on every economic and social front.

        Tell Gbekugbeh to act for Liberia, if he loves Liberia as lip serviced.
        With the current derailment, just imagine the consequences on the economy, given the already ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, low tax recovery rate, unproductive government with no imagination and creativity!
        There may be more deaths from hunger and starvation in Liberia from now to the end of 2023 than all COVID-19 casualties worldwide.

        May God forgive Liberia and keep our people safe!

  3. 66 cars/wagons of exploitation and environment disaster.
    When a steel plant is established in Yekepa, the company won’t need 66 cars to rush one of Liberia’s natural resources to India or Europe. Build a plant or the contract remains unsigned!

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