Abidjan - Rail traffic between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso has
been halted for at least two weeks after a bridge collapsed on the line linking
the two countries, the operator has said.
iron bridge, built in 1910 across the Nzi river, collapsed dramatically on
Tuesday as a freight train was crossing.
was hurt during the incident, which took place near Dimbokro, a town in central
Ivory Coast about 250km north of Abidjan.
have a single track and this accident means we cannot continue rail operations.
There will be a total stoppage (of rail transport) between Abidjan and
Ouagadougou," Noel Kouadio, head of security at operator Sitarail, told
AFP at the scene on Wednesday.
statement, Sitarail said "significant resources" were being poured
into repairing the line and ensuring a resumption of rail traffic, which would
take "at least a fortnight".
it was "looking into temporary rail solutions in order that (the bridge
collapse) would not penalise the considerable volume of traffic which is
important to the economies of both countries".
the International Company for African Rail Transport, is a subsidiary of French
industrial giant Bollore, which runs the line between Ivory Coast's capital
Abidjan and Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso.
freight train, which was made up of two locomotives and 20 wagons, was carrying
more than 1 000 tons of goods. It remains stranded on the bridge.
residents reacted angrily to the collapse, saying the entire bridge, which also
had pedestrian access, was badly rusted and in need of repair.
whole economy is paralysed. Today is market day but everything is
blocked," Abu Kone, 52, a local trader told AFP on Wednesday. With the
bridge out of action, residents were using small boats to cross to the other
side of the river.
railway is the main means of access to the Atlantic coast for Burkina Faso and
the cheapest way for Ivorian firms to export goods.