Last year’s train accident in Cameroon that claimed the lives of 79 people has been blamed on rail company Camrail which is owned by French group Bolloré.
One of the four experts reports commissioned by the government for an official inquiry found Camrail responsible for the October 21 passenger train accident at the town of Eseka, Reuters reports.
The official inquiry that was seen by Reuters on Thursday outlined a chain of technical and administrative shortcomings by Camrail that it said contributed to the accident.
“There was no force majeure, and we have not noted an external cause either. The catastrophe is therefore totally attributable to Camrail and its managers at the highest summit of the hierarchy,” the report stated.
In the document, railway expert Benoit Essiga wrote that Camrail had disregarded passenger capacity and weight limits as it sought to accommodate increased demand from travelers.
The train had not been properly inspected and 13 of its 17 carriages had malfunctioning braking systems, the report found. It added that Camrail’s management had disregarded complaints from personnel regarding technical defects.
Reuters could not independently confirm the assertions contained in the report.
When asked for a comment about the report, a spokesman for Bollore’s Camrail unit said on Thursday: “We respect and continue to respect the confidential nature of the inquiry.”
Contacted late on Thursday, Cameroon’s government spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the report.
Government is expected to release its findings from each of the four reports.