By Saliou Samb and Polina Devitt
CONAKRY -Two trains operated by Russian aluminium giant Rusal collided in Guinea’s capital Conakry on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring several others, according to witness accounts and footage on social media.
The world’s third-largest aluminium producer operates three bauxite mines and an alumina refinery in the coastal West African nation. The Guinea mines make up 42% of Rusal’s total bauxite capacity.
Rusal said an investigation had been launched into the cause of the incident and that company representatives were providing support to the relevant authorities in Guinea.
A timetable for resumption of transportation would be determined once the investigation and restoration of the rail tracks are completed, Rusal told Reuters on Monday.
“It was a moving train that collided with another that had broken down and was parked,” Lamine Camara, a resident in the neighbourhood where the accident took place on the outskirts of the capital, told Reuters.
Another witness gave a similar account.
Images shared on social media showed multiple derailed train cars piled on top of each other amid thick, grey smoke. Firefighters dug through the mangled wreckage while paramedics carried a body covered in a white sheet into an ambulance.
The Russian firm has been a strong presence in Guinea since the Soviet era. It has said it will maintain its operations there despite a military coup on Sept. 5 that overthrew longtime president, Alpha Conde.