9 January 2013

Mozambique: Saboteurs Derail Train

Maputo — The Mozambican port and rail company CFM believes that a derailment on Tuesday at Infulene, a few kilometres from Maputo central rail station, was a deliberate act of sabotage by thieves intent on stealing cargo.

CFM rail director Augusto Abudo, cited in Wednesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, said that Infulene residents frequently attack trains carrying wheat.

The company had decided to strengthen the contingent of security guards on the trains and along the track in order to reduce the number of thefts. “We have suffered a great deal because of these attacks”, said Abudo, “but we are trying to combat this practice”.

If the saboteurs had hoped to steal sacks of wheat after the Tuesday derailment, they were out of luck. The train that came off the rails was carrying minerals from Swaziland, intended to be exported from the port of Maputo.

The track at Infulene was completely blocked, making it impossible for seven scheduled passenger trains and 12 goods trains to circulate. Abudo said the sabotage caused enormous losses to CFM, though he could give no figures.

CFM teams have been working through the night to restore normal traffic on the line, and Abudo hoped that trains would be running again on Wednesday morning.

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