Casualties rise to 821 in train derailment of Republic of the Congo

09:59, June 25, 2010      

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Photo taken on June 22, 2010 shows the scene of the train derailment accident near the station of Yanga, around 60 km from Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo. The death toll rose to 76 with 745 people injured in the railway disaster, the state radio reported on June 23. (Xinhua/Kitina)

The number of casualties climbed to 821 as of Wednesday after Monday's train derailment accident in the Republic of the Congo.

Among them, 76 died and 745 others were wounded, said local media.

The disaster happened late Monday night after a train left the coastal town of Pointe-Noire on the Chemin de Fer Congo Ocean (CFCO) line to the capital city of Brazzaville. It derailed at a curve, causing four carriages to fall into a ravine.

Government spokesman Bienvenu Okiemy Tuesday declared a three-day national mourning starting from June 26 and a national funeral for the victims in Pointe-Noire.

The government Tuesday morning dispatched a group of investigators to the scene after an emergent meeting. Overspeeding was believed to be the main cause of the accident.

The 510-km-long CFCO railway is vital to the country's economic development, and is an important component of the transport system in central Africa.

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