About 100 passengers onboard a Tema-Accra bound train escaped death when the vehicle derailed at about 6:30 am on Monday near the Ghacem Manufacturing Company in Tema.
It took the intervention of technicians of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Railways Authority to fix the problem before the train continued its journey.
No casualty was recorded as the train was not speeding at the time of the derailment.
Interestingly, when the six coaches finally came to a halt, some of the passengers reportedly jumped out, probably out of fear and panic.
Mr. JC Mensah, Mechanical Supervisor at the Tema Railway Station, told DAILY GUIDE that they heard that a train bound for Accra had derailed and so he and his colleagues came to check what had happened.
When he was asked about what might have caused the derailment, he replied, “For now we cannot say what the actual cause is.”
He indicated that it would be investigated. “This is the second time we are experiencing problem with our trains in Tema but I want to assure our prospective passengers that it is the safest and the most convenient mode of traveling.”
Mr. Mensah indicated that one out of two trains had been working for some weeks now as the second train developed some fault and was under repairs.
A technician spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity saying that the poor state of the coaches and tracks is extremely disturbing and major cause of several derailments.
“Because the wheels of the coaches are worn out, they often touch the rusted bolts and nuts of the tracks and cause them to hang loose and this causes derailment,” he noted.
According to the technician, there are signs that everything is not in good condition as the tracks, fasteners and wheels of the coaches are outmoded “but when you speak they get angry with you and threaten you with dismissal.”
Some passengers who spoke to DAILY GUIDE said the incident had given them a second thought about trvelling on a train, especially when they had learnt that that was not the first time it had occurred.
According to a woman, although the derailment was dangerous, it would not prevent her from boarding a train because it is cheaper and faster compared to commercial vehicles.
She further appealed to the railway authorities to do something about the deplorable nature of the trains and the tracks.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema