Hundreds of passengers onboard a Kaduna to Abuja train were left stranded in the bushes of Dutse, Kaduna, after the locomotive just couldn’t kick on anymore.
The train reportedly left Kaduna shortly before 7am.
Daily Trust reports that five minutes after the train departed the Rigasa Station in Kaduna, it developed a mechanical fault.
Midat Joseph, an Assistant National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who was one of the passengers, said the train creaked to a halt around 7am.
“I left my house as early as 5:am to join the 6:40am train but unfortunately I have been trapped here in this forest. This is not the first time I will be experiencing this mess,” Joseph told the newspaper.
Another passenger said he had a similar experience last Saturday, saying it took them five hours to get to Abuja.
An engineer of the NRC (Nigeria Railway Corporation) who addressed the passengers, told them that it would take them two hours to fix the train.
“We are very sorry, the locomotive is faulty. We have contacted the Idu Train Station for another locomotive. It would take them two hours to be here,” he said.
The passengers have been evacuated from the forest at the time of filing this story, latest reports say.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is erecting critical rail infrastructure across the country, in a bid to stimulate an economy hard-hit by dipping crude oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the completed train terminals have recently been commissioned with plenty of fanfare and political-speak.