A young man who was driving a Sino truck jumped the railway tracks of the new Addis railway line, hitting and damaging the cross and height barrier costing property damage of half a million birr to the Ethiopian railway corporation. The accident happened on the 17 km railway line stretching from Menilik II to Kality terminal. No one was injured. The incident occurred on Wednesday April 12 around 3:00 in the morning.
A Chinese manufactured Sino truck; Code-3 ET-53989, was heading towards Kality but when it reached the road by Addis Tyre Factory near Saris the driver lost control, the wheel came off balance and the truck jumped the railway line.
The light trains normally begin service at 6:00 in the morning but were not able to function for four hours as they had to wait for cranes to lift the truck off the train tracks. This caused traffic congestion in the area and around the city.
Police are investigating the incident to determine the cause of the accident.
In the past year and a half a total of 150 vehicles have damaged the railway line.
The Ethiopia Railway Corporation (ERC) is concerned about the increasing number of car accidents along the railway. ERC filed a lawsuit for the property damage and service interruption.
“We are making up to 450,000 birr per day but we stopped for four hours until the truck was removed from the line and we asked for the money that we would supposedly have gotten if the train was working, in addition to that the cross and height barrier that were built along the railway line to control cars was also damaged and we asked the driver to pay us for this.”
According to Dereje Tefera Communication Director at ERC, irresponsible driving is one of the major causes of vehicles frequently hitting railway properties.
“Some of them drink, some of them are speeding, some of them do not have enough ability to drive cars and this kills people and damages our rail line. The train does not come to the vehicles, the vehicles come to the train and that causes us to ponder the ability of drivers,” he said.
“We need to strengthen our licensing system and traffic law enforcement to save the country from loss of life and property,” he added.