MP, DCE debunk political sabotage in Tema-Mpakadan train crash

The Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman and the District Chief Executive for North Tongu, along with the owner of the Hyundai Gold 5-tonne vehicle involved in the rail accident, have collectively debunked claims of political sabotage as the cause of the train crash on the Tema-Mpakadan road.

The incident took place on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in the afternoon when one of the newly-imported Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains, produced by a Polish manufacturer, was conducting a test run on the Tema-Mpakadan railway route.

The train collided with a stationary Hyundai truck with registration number GS 9018-20 stuck on the rail line in the Abotia community.

A statement from the Ministry of Railway Development confirmed that passengers were not injured in the accident.

However, the vehicle’s driver, 41-year-old Able Dzidotor was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail the next day by the Juapong Circuit Court.

Vehicle owner Ebenezer Sackitey explained to Starr News that the driver had gone to the Abotia c
ommunity to offload cement blocks, although due to the height of the vehicle, he struggled under the bridge but faced more difficulties passing under the bridge at the far end of the community.

He said the driver then decided to return and drive over the rail line to cross to the other side of the vehicle but got stuck on the rail line; unfortunately, the train then collided with the vehicle.

‘I was in the block factory when my driver came to me and said that he was passing through the underbridge where the railway is, but he found it difficult to pass there, so after offloading the blocks, when he was coming back, he was not able to pass there, so he had to turn back. You can see scratches under the bridge. The vehicle was taller ut because of the load; it was down small, so he took a different alternative’.

He continued, ‘He passed through the railway and he stuck. He said he needed a jerk to jerk it so the car could move quickly. Even though he was coming with the jerk, he heard that the train smashed t
he car into pieces. We went to the police station to lodge an official complaint. They gave him bail and later arrested him. I am not aware of the test run, if I were, we would have taken it quickly or even the car would not be there. I don’t do politics so it is not sabotage. I am a businessman. I am not a politician,’ the vehicle owner, Ebenezer Sackitey, said.

The Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman, Thomas Ampem Nyarko, condemned the driver for attempting to cross the rail tracks but emphasized the need for the constructor to review access routes to communities along the rail lines.

‘I also think that looking at the situation here and the alternative route that has been provided by other users and vehicles to cross the area, the engineering work would have to be improved. If you look at this community, there are buildings on both ends of the railway line, so people will definitely need to cross to the other side. Looking at the passage provided under the bridge and the fact that the vehicle crossing had
to scratch under the bridge shows that the space there is not long enough for vehicles that are a bit higher. We should not assume that only saloon vehicles will be crossing to the other side. We should make provisions for bigger trucks,’ Thomas Ampem Nyarko said.

The MP described it as a ridiculous attempt to blame the accident on political sabotage.

‘I want to say that it is ridiculous for anybody to think that this accident was deliberate and that it was sabotage by some individuals or group of people’

The DCE for North Tongu, Divine Osborn Fenu, stated that the accident should not be politicized and, though unfortunate, should guide future safety measures in the communities along the railway lines.

‘It is sad that anything that happens is politicized. This is an accident that has happened. Let’s solve the problem of the concerns raised by the residents. Will convey the grievances of the people to the engineer. We should not politicize everything,’ the DCE said.

Belko Abubakari, Assembly Member for th
e Ayimagonu Electoral Area, described the challenges faced by the community in accessing their homes and dismissed claims that the accident was politically motivated.

He rather called on the Ghana Railway Authority to sit with the communities to find ways to create access roads for them.

He said the 3-meter-high bridge, intended to facilitate safe movement of vehicles and residents, was built away from the community, forcing residents, especially children, to cross the rail lines unsafely.

Source: Ghana Web