The Nigerian Railway Corporation has said the ill-fated train that was attacked last week by terrorists had only 362 passengers on board, even as only 398 passengers bought tickets for the service.
He said this is in contrast to what the public is made to believe. “The entire seat capacity of the train in question is 840, therefore the figure of 970 being circulated cannot be correct”.
He added that of the 362 passengers that were on the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train, 146 are unreachable six days after the train was attacked by terrorists.
In a statement made available to Transport, Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria, explained that the number of safe passengers had risen to 186.
According to him, since Tuesday morning after the attack, 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end, saying that 51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or unreachable since Tuesday.
The Managing Director further explained that 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called, responded non-existent.
He stated that 22 persons are reported missing by their relatives, while eight persons were confirmed dead.
According to him, “51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or have not been reachable since Tuesday morning and 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end. 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called, responded non-existent.”
The MD said that the statement is aimed at updating Nigerians on the ongoing development regarding the clearing of the incident site (recovery of the rolling stock, repairs of the track) as well as the status of Passengers that were onboard the AK9 train on Monday, March 28.
He noted that two coaches (SP 00016 and SP 00017) earlier re-railed have safely been moved to Rigasa Station.
Okhiria added that this brings the total number of recovered coaches safely moved to NRC stations to be seven, saying that intensive work continues on track repairs, while more concrete sleepers were moved to the site while some sections of twisted tracks have been straightened.
He stated that he remained grateful to the security agencies for all the support, stressing that the corporation is very appreciative of Squadron Commander MOPOL 1 Kaduna’s visit to the accident site today.He said that NRC would continue to update the general public on developments to prevent misleading information and falsehood.
It would be recalled that the train was attacked in Kaduna State on its way from Abuja last week.