One week after terrorists attacked a train in Kaduna State, over 100 of the passengers have yet to be accounted for, an official has said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported last Monday’s attack on the Kaduna-bound train by terrorists who first used explosives to immobilise the train before shooting at some of the passengers. They killed some and kidnapped many other passengers.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC has said its manifest showed that there were 362 passengers on board the train.
Many Nigerians, however, believe the figures are much higher due to the fraud and manipulations that go on at the train stations.
The NRC, on Sunday, provided more updates on its activities since the train attack.
The agency said it has confirmed the safety of 14 more passengers on board the train, bringing the total number of safe passengers to 186.
Of the remaining 176 passengers, eight have been confirmed dead, while the families of 22 passengers have formally declared them missing. This indicates that a total of 168 passengers have yet to be accounted for including the 22 declared missing by their families.
It is not yet clear if all the 168 were kidnapped by the attackers or have just not been accounted for one week after the incident.
”The statement is aimed at updating Nigerians on the on-going development regarding the clearing of the incident site (recovery of the rolling stock, repairs of the track) and status of Passengers that were on-board the AK9 train of Monday, March 28,” the NRC’s Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, said in a statement issued on Sunday.
”Of the 362 validated passengers on board the attacked AK9 train service on March 28, 186 persons on the manifest are confirmed to be safe and at their various homes (additional 14 persons confirmed safe today),” Mr Okhiria said.
He said 51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or not reachable since Tuesday morning. Another 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end, he said.
He stated that 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called show response non-existent, 22 persons are reported missing by their relatives and eight persons have been confirmed dead.
According to Mr Okhiria, two coaches (SP 00016 and SP 00017) earlier re-railed have safely been moved to the Rigasa Station in Kaduna.
”This brings the total number of recovered coaches and safely moved to NRC Stations to be seven,” he said.
”Intensive work continues on track repairs. More concrete Sleepers were moved to site while some section of twisted tracks has been straightened.
”We remain grateful to the security agencies for all the support. We are very appreciative of the Squadron Commander MOPOL 1 Kaduna visit to the accident site today.
”The NRC will continue to update the general public of developments to prevent misleading information and falsehood,” he added.
The train left Abuja on March 28 at about 6:00 p.m. and was on its way to Kaduna when it was attacked.
The train had become popular among people travelling between the two states as it was considered safer compared to the Abuja-Kaduna road. Hundreds of people had been killed or kidnapped on the Abuja-Kaduna road in the past few years.
The attack on the train has been condemned by most Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari.