Eighty people have been confirmed dead and more than 600 others injured, three days after the derailment of a passenger train in Cameroon.
The Transport Minister, Edgar Mebe’Ngo’o, on Monday said in Yaounde that government was expecting the toll to rise further.
“There may still be corpses hidden in the rubbles, and we have critical cases in hospital,” he said.
The minister said train, which had about 20 carriages, started developing problems near the town of Eseka, which is 120 kilometres from Yaounde, with coaches gradually detaching themselves.
“Four carriages crashed into a ravine and ejected passengers. Bodies were strewn at the site.
“The witnesses said some were mutilated beyond recognition,’’ he said.
The witnesses said that the train, which was meant to carry 600 people, carried more than twice that amount because hundreds of extra passengers had sought rail transport after the collapse of a bridge blocked an alternative road route.
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya on Sunday put the death toll at more than 70 and pledged to investigate the causes of the rail crash.
“I have ordered an indepth inquiry into the causes of this accident,” Biya said.
Report said that rescue workers were still scouring wreckage for more bodies.
It said that some were still seeking news of friends and family members on hand-written lists of passengers pinned up outside medical centres in the two cities.
The report said that on Sunday, the government appealed for additional blood donations to assist with the treatment of some 600 people who suffered injuries.