On March 14, 2018, during the hearing at the correctional chamber of Eséka court, Jean Pierre Morel, the current managing director of CAMRAIL said that an international independent expertise was needed to determine the real causes of the 2016 Eséka train derailment.
According to his statements, after the incident, CAMRAIL set an inquiry commission to determine what happened. The experts then concluded that at some point of the journey, the train was over speeding. That speed has been the cause of this accident, they said. However, they did not explain the reason why the train suddenly revved up even though there was no sign of anomaly since the train left Yaoundé.
He also explained that Cameroon’s government acquired the wagons involved in the accident following an international call for tender the country launched in 2010. He further added that according to the concession agreement, between CAMRAIL and Cameroon, the country was responsible for the replacement of the rolling stocks. Moreover, he said, after the 40 wagons were constructed by CSR Nanjing, the technical testing (in accordance with the international standards) was positive.
Jean Pierre Morel continued saying that security being a “constant concern” for CAMRAIL, the railway company not only implemented the security measures set by the former operator REGIFERCAM but it also strengthened them based on Bolloré group’s experience in the management and operation of rail networks in Africa.
According to our sources, during the next hearings, the court will hear Didier Vandenbon, CAMRAIL’s managing director at the time of this accident, and the train driver who was driving the train involved in the accident.
For the record, on May 23, 2017, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, secretary general at the presidency published a statement which revealed that an investigation launched and conducted by the government concluded that CAMRAIL had the overarching responsibility in this accident.