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NRC confirms blast on Abuja-Kaduna train track, begins probe

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The Nigeria Railway Corporation has stopped services on the Abuja-Kaduna route and confirmed that part of the train track around Rijana and Dutse in Kaduna State was blasted with explosives on Wednesday.

Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, who confirmed the blast to The PUNCH, said on Thursday that services on the route had to be halted in order to carry out thorough investigations on the matter.

A former Senator from Kaduna State, Shehu Sani, had earlier posted on his verified Twitter handle that bandits attacked a train on the Abuja-Kaduna route on Wednesday.

Sani said “Yesterday (Wednesday) terrorists attacked the Kaduna-Abuja railway with an explosive and opened fire on the train, targeting the engine driver and the tank.

“This (Thursday) morning, I was onboard when our train ran over another explosive damaged rail.”

Reacting to this, Okhiria told our correspondent that there was a blast on the facility which ruptured the track, forcing the corporation to halt operations.

He said, “There was an explosion but until the team that is investigating the matter comes with its report we cannot confirm whether it is a bomb or not. But there was a blast.

“Operations have been stopped for today in order to do a proper inspection and we hope that before the end of the day we would have done the needful.”

Okhiria, however, refuted claims of gunshots aimed at the train driver and the tank of the train.

“There was nothing like that. Only an explosive that went up on the track. Are you aware that we even ran a train service this morning?” he stated.

The NRC boss added, “There was nothing like shooting or the train by bandits. Efforts are currently ongoing to ensure full train services are restored along that route.”

Before Okhiria’s reaction to the matter, the Abuja/Kaduna Train Service Station Manager, Paschal Nnorli, had also confirmed that there was an attack on the train, but could not tell if it was with an explosive.

“Yes, there was an attack, but right now I cannot confirm if it was an explosive or bomb attack as people are saying,” he said.

Nnorli added, “Investigations are ongoing and I’ll give you updates as they come in. Our engineers have been mobilized to the area. And right now we have suspended services.”

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