The Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, on Thursday confirmed that the rail tracks for the Kaduna-Abuja train services were blown up by explosives planted on the tracks by “yet to be identified persons”.
The managing director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, who spoke to Tribune Online exclusively, explained that the explosives damaged the rail tracks somewhere between Dutse and Rijana.
According to the NRC Boss, “Yes, there was an explosive on our rail track somewhere around Rijana and Dutse last night, and this damaged the tracks.
“Efforts are currently ongoing to ensure that the train services along the Kaduna-Abuja route are fully restored,”
When asked by the newspaper if there were gunshots aimed at the train driver and the tank of the train, the NRC MD stated that “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? There was nothing like shooting or the train by bandits. Efforts are currently ongoing to ensure full train services are restored along that route.”
But sources at the NRC and passengers told DAILY NIGERIAN that there was actually gun attacks on the train on Wednesday night and bomb attack on Thursday morning.
“The bandits first attacked last Abuja-Kaduna train bearing number AK9 between Rijana and Dutse. The train came under heavy gunfire, but it struggled to stutter for about 7km and stopped as the gunshots damaged the fuel tank,” a staff of Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, told our reporter on the condition of anonymity.
“At the point of the attack, the train was unable to make contact with Abuja. Hours later, contact was made and a relief locomotive arrived past midnight.
“And then the morning train from Kaduna to Abuja, bearing number KA2, also ran over fractured rail tracks, but successfully completed the journey. Suspected explosives devices were planted on the track, but God in his infinite mercy saved the travellers and train.”
A passenger of the early morning train, Shehu Sani, a senator who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly, confirmed the incident on his Facebook page.
The Senator wrote: “Yesternight, Bandits attacked the Kaduna-Abuja train. They planted an explosive that damaged the rail track and shattered the windshield of the train engine.They also opened fire, targeting the Driver and the Tank.
“It happened between Dutse and Rijana stations. The driver struggled to move towards Kaduna Rigasa station.
“This early morning, I was on board when our train ran over another explosive damaged railings. The train nearly skid off its track, then we miraculously escaped.
“All Kaduna Abuja train operations need to be suspended for today until this issue is addressed.”