The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has confirmed the safety of 170 passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train that was attacked by terrorists on March 28.
The corporation also confirmed that 21 passengers were reported missing by their families but was silent on the status of 162 other commuters. There were earlier reports that the terrorists may have kidnapped many of the passengers.
The Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okihiria, disclosed in a statement on Saturday that the passenger manifest showed that 362 travellers validly boarded the 840 seater train.
“The Corporation, in continuation of its concerted efforts through repeated calls have confirmed the safety of 170 passengers while 21 passengers are reported missing by the relatives who made calls to us.
“For the records, there were (11) coaches on the train worked by Loco 2502 which is made up of (4) SPA coaches, with 56 sitting capacity by coach and (7) SP coaches with 88 sitting capacity by coach.
“Thus, the total seat capacity of the train is 840 seats. You may also recall that the Train Manifest contained 362 validated passengers aboard the train,” he said.
The NRC said it issued the statement to correct misinformation being put out by the media and the general public.
The Corporation added that it was liaising with various security agencies to rescue passengers that are still missing.
He further said, “The Corporation is also not resting on its oars as she has heavily moved human and material resources to the accident site to make sure that train services resumed without further delays in other to reduce the stress that our passengers are currently going through.
“In practical terms, a high powered restoration team, led by Directors have been working round the clock to re-rail the
coaches affected by the bomb blast. There is a coordinated two-pronged simultaneous restoration approach.
“While Loco 2702 with re-railment and restoration materials departed Idu Station, Abuja to the bomb blast site, another team with Loco 2502 departed Rigasa Station, Kaduna with re-railment and restoration materials to the same site.
“I am happy to inform you that as at the close of work on the 1 of April 2022, Coaches SPO0004, SPO0009, SPO0012, SP00013 have all been re-railed and safely taken to our Rigasa Station in Kaduna.
“Restoration of track for full resumption of normal train services will continue today 2 April 2022”.
Okhiria, however, noted that the Corporation has made arrangements to increase security along the track and aboard the train to prevent the recurrence of the unfortunate incident.
“Once again, our hearts go out to the families of those that lost their loved ones and that of those that are still missing. Be assured that the Corporation is with you in this challenging time,” he noted.