Africa-Press – Liberia. Two staff of ArcelorMittal died yesterday when a rail equipment carrying maintenance crew collided with loaded wagons stationed on the rail line. Four other crew members sustained severe injuries and were evacuated from the scene via a helicopter.
gathered that one of the staff was pronounced dead on arrival upon the evacuation to a medical facility while the other died during surgery. “It is with the deepest sadness that ArcelorMittal Liberia announces that two of its committed staff have succumbed to their injuries after being medically evacuated by helicopter to hospital,” the company stated.
FPA further gathered that one of the deceased had been an employee since 2014 as a track repair professional, and another joined the company a year ago as a rail worker.
Both were said to be good employees who were part of a crew that were heading to perform routine preventative repairs on the tracks. According to ArcelorMittal, an investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident.
The company has committed to work closely with medical professionals to threat the injured staff and evacuate to a nearby country for advanced treatment if recommended by doctors here. The incident has moved the company to temporarily suspend all rail operations.
“The company extends its deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased and solicits the prayers of all for the recovery of our colleagues as they are being cared for in the hospital,” ArcelorMittal stated.
This is not the first time there has been a collision on the rail involving ArcelorMittal’s locomotives. In May 2021, two of the company’s locomotives were involved in an accident on the rail, but there was no casualty.
Speaking on that incident the company said, “There was no serious damage to the environment or the underlying track bed as a result of this accident. Initial investigation has also revealed that 10 civilians were on board these trains when they collided. According to the AML’s regulations and safety procedures, civilians are prohibited from travelling on AML trains which are used strictly for transportation of iron ore.”
In June 2021, One of ArcelorMittal locomotives transporting iron ore from Yekepa to Buchanan Port derailed, leaving about 30 coaches (buckets) of iron ore pouring to the ground and part of the rail damaged.
The accident occurred between the towns of Zuluyee and Tondin in Nimba County. No death was reported in that incident. It can also be recalled that in September 202, a locomotive was involved in an accident along the Sanniquellie-Ganta highway in Nimba County. No fatality was reported.
The accident occurred at about 8pm on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, near Gbedin Camp ( 3) in District# 2, Nimba, leading the mining company to halt transportation of ores from Yekepa, Nimba County to Grand Bassa County.
Following that incident, ArcelorMittal issued a press statement revealing that its locomotives were being targeted by criminal activities that resulted in the accident.
The company stated that the criminals were targeting the tarpaulins covering the iron ore wagons to keep out moisture from the iron ore. According to AML, during the attack, some of the moving wagons were deliberately disconnected from its braking systems and veered off the rail track, resulting in damage to a portion of the rail line.