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In fatal train accident: Mining giant says its cooperating with police

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Officials at ArcelorMittal Liberia say the company is fully cooperating with the police in connection with the tragic accident allegedly involving one of its locomotives that left a man split into half dead on its track on March 16, 2016.

“On Wednesday, March 16th a fatal incident occurred involving an ArcelorMittal Liberia locomotive heading from Tokadeh, Nimba County to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The exact details of the incident are being investigated and ArcelorMittal Liberia is fully cooperating with the police”, a statement issued by the company on Friday said.

It further stated that the company would like to remind the public that walking, playing or sleeping on the train track is illegal and very dangerous. The company spokesperson Ms. Hesta Pearson told this paper that ArcelorMittal is reaching out to the many families along the railroad tracks with the message of staying off the tracks.

Tragedy struck Gbah Town, Bong County in Central Liberia at dawn Wednesday, 16 March when a moving train reportedly operated by the mining company allegedly hit and ran over a 33-year-old farmer identified as Tutu Jackson Suah, cutting him into half with the waist that contains the stomach, hands and head lying on one side of the train track, while his two legs with buttock left on the other side of the track.

According to family members, the late Tutu Suah left home early Wednesday morning, telling his wife that he was on his way to the farm to collect chicken for the funeral ceremony of his mother-in-law. The farm is said to be located across the train track.

However, it is not clear how the train allegedly killed Tutu early Wednesday as many residents, including some family members are wondering whether he was not attentive to have heard the train approaching or recognized its light while walking on the track.

According to one family member, the late Tutu was not a drunkard, and had lived his entire life as a farmer and hunter up to his unfortunate demise on 16 March. Meanwhile, officials of ArcelorMittal have met with family members and citizens of Gbah Town, telling them that the company could not take immediate responsibility for the death as investigations were still ongoing, but promised to make contribution to the bereaved family; one family member told this paper.

This is not the first incident of anArcelorMittal’s train allegedly being involved in an accident resulting to death. The company’s train which ply the track from Nimba County thru Bong to Grand Bassa County where its raw products are uploaded on ships for export to Europe and other destinations, had been linked to previous accidents, leading to death, but as in this latest case, management had rejected responsibility.-complied and edited by Othello B. Garblah

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