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Thursday, May 6, 1999 Published at 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK

World: Africa

Driver blamed for Kenya train crash

The crash happened in Tsavo National park

An official report has blamed driver error for a train derailment which killed 32 people in a Kenyan national park in March.

Transport Minister William ole Ntimama told parliament that the driver had been going downhill too fast, and had not properly applied the air brakes that reduce the train's speed.

The driver has been arrested and is facing criminal charges.

[ image: The train was travelling from Nairobi to Mombassa]
The train was travelling from Nairobi to Mombassa
The train jumped the tracks inside Kenya's Tsavo National Park on 24 March as it travelled from the capital Nairobi to the port city of Mombasa.

Mr Ntimama said the train derailed at 93 kph (58 mph) on a section of track where it should have been doing 50 kph (31 mph).

Several tourists who were travelling on the train said it appeared to be racing out of control in the minutes before it derailed.

As well as the 32 people killed, more than 100 were injured.

Mr Ntimama said the investigation into the crash showed the engine had been properly maintained and was not overloaded.

Crew members had initially said the train's brakes failed.

The Kenyan Government said after the crash that it would spend an unspecified amount of money on improving railway infrastructure.

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25 Mar 99 | Africa
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