TransNamib says it is too early to tell the cause of the latest train derailment, which occurred in Luderitz in the /Kharas region on Monday.
The spokesperson of TransNamib, Abigail Raubenheimer, when approached for comment, said that the accident occurred recently and it is therefore premature for them as an entity to really comment on the matter, but she ensured that the incident is under investigation.
“We are still investigating the cause of the accident and it is way too premature to make such statements, as investigation is not finalised,” said Abigail.
The said train is believed to have been carrying 2 locomotives with 22 wagons of manganese.
This comes as, according to Marshall Rangers of Namibia’s Sean Naude, claims that the locomotives may have been overloaded with manganese.
He told The Villager that he made efforts and spoke to two of the railway company’s employees, who spoke under anonymity and allegedly informed him that they didn’t look out for the possibility of the locomotives being overloaded.
“There is a certain amount of carriages per locomotive and what happened is these locomotives overloaded, so you have got two locomotives with 22 carriages full of manganese so these things are being transported and the moment it comes down on a down slope, these things run away. What happens is the brakes cannot hold them and they end up going faster than they are supposed to on the rail,” Naude said.
He further said this is a matter of concern as certain people know that such things are happening but they rather opt to say nothing with regards to such matters.
Naude on the other hand suggested that what might be leading to such incidents to occur is because some drivers, specifically the truck drivers are being pushed to drive for longer distances whereby for some instances, according to him, they are made to cover 80 km/h, which he says is tiring.
He further stated that companies, mostly those in the transport industry, need to be addressed so that such incidents are brought to order. Both locomotives, plus a carriage, crashed, and according to Naude, the damage caused could amount to millions.
The latest incident comes as, just last week, a fresh wave of concerns were raised over the transportation of manganese through Luderitz, with reports claiming that the mineral is being ferried without being covered with tarpaulins.
This has been a concern since 2019, when the first manganese was unloaded at the port.