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At Least 100 Dead in DRC Train Accident

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VOA News - August 2, 2007

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) say at least 100 people were killed when a train derailed in the central DRC late Wednesday.

Government and U.N. officials say the train went off the tracks in Western Kasai province, around 170 kilometers north of the regional capital Kananga.

Earlier reports had put the death toll at 30.

An official with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo says the mission has sent a helicopter with doctors, nurses, and medical equipment to the crash site.

DRC Minister of Information Toussaint Tshilombo Send tells VOA the train was meant to carry only cargo, but also carried many passengers.

It is common for trains, boats, trucks in Congo to be overloaded with passengers.

The U.N. mission is in Congo to help the nation recover from years of civil conflict and enforce a ceasefire agreement signed in 1999.  With 17,000 personnel, it is currently the largest and most expensive U.N peacekeeping mission.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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