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Driver blamed for Kenya train crash
BBC Online 06 May 1999

PanAfrican News Agency (PANA)

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Investigation begins into train crash which killed 32
Report 24 Mar 99

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KENYA: Driver error caused Man eaters junction train crash

  : Saturday, May 08, 1999
An investigation into a train derailment that killed 32 people on the main Nairobi - Mombasa rail line has

Photo: mathenge
Carriages of the overnight Nairobi - Mombasa train in disarray at the scene of the accident
determined that the driver failed to use the brakes correctly to control the train's speed.

The March 24 accident occurred at a curve on a falling grade where the speed limit was 50 km/h (31 mph). The investigation, undertaken by Kenya's Transport Ministry showed that the train was travelling at 93 km/h (58 mph) causing it to derail as it failed to take the curve. The driver is said to have miscalculated the speed. A number of passengers on the train had said that it seemed to be "racing out of control" at the time of the accident.

Immediately after the accident, crew members on the train said that the brakes had failed. However, the investigation showed that the locomotive had been correctly maintained. It also showed that the track in the area was properly maintained.

In a statement to the Kenyan parliament, Transport Minister William ole Ntimama said that the dirver had failed to use the airbrakes correctly and that he had been arrested.

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