Nigerian Railway Corporation has confirmed that on Wednesday, suspected bandits destroyed a portion of the Abuja-Kaduna rail track with explosives, forcing a disruption of train services on the route.
Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, disclosed that the explosives destroyed the rail track at a spot between Dutse and Rijana, an area that had recorded numerous bandits’ attacks along Kaduna-Abuja highway.
Okhiria added that Corporation was making efforts to restore train services on the route.
“Efforts are currently ongoing to ensure that the train services along the Kaduna-Abuja route are fully restored,” the official said.
Former senator representing Kaduna Central district, Shehu Sani, has earlier posted on his Facebook page that suspected bandits attacked Kaduna-Abuja train on Wednesday.
He added that the bandits planted an explosive that spoiled the rail track and shattered the windshield of the train’s engine.
Sani further said that the gunmen also opened fire at the train on Thursday morning, targeting the driver and the tank of the train.
“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,” Sani wrote.
A staff of the NRC quoted by newsmen noted that the attack was deadly.
“The bandits first attacked the last Abuja-Kaduna train bearing number AK9 between Rijana and Dutse. The train came under heavy gunfire, but it struggled to stutter for about seven kilometres and stopped as the gunshots damaged the fuel tank.
“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.”
Full services, according to the statement, will resume on Friday.