One hundred and forty-six of the 362 passengers on the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train are unreachable six days after the train was attacked by terrorists.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria, made this known in a statement obtained on Monday.
He, however, said the number of safe passengers had risen to 186.
Okhiria said 51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or unreachable since Tuesday morning and 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end.
He also noted that 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called, responded non-existent.
The NRC boss clarified that 22 persons are reported missing by their relatives and eight persons were confirmed dead.
Part of the statement read, “51 phone numbers on the manifest are either switched off or have not been reachable since Tuesday morning and 35 phone numbers on the manifest are ringing, but no response from the other end. 60 phone numbers on the manifest when called, responded non-existent.
”The statement is aimed at updating Nigerians on the ongoing development regarding the clearing of the incident site (recovery of the rolling stock, repairs of the track) and status of Passengers that were onboard the AK9 train of Monday, March 28.
”Of the 362 validated passengers on board the attacked AK9 train service on March 28, 186 persons on the manifest are confirmed to be safe and at their various homes (additional 14 persons confirmed safe today).
“Two coaches (SP 00016 and SP 00017) earlier re-railed have safely been moved to Rigasa Station.
”This brings the total number of recovered Coaches and safely moved to NRC Stations to be seven. Intensive work continues on track repairs. More concrete Sleepers were moved to site while some section of twisted tracks has been straightened.
”We remain grateful to the security agencies for all the support. We are very appreciative of Squadron Commander MOPOL 1 Kaduna’s visit to the accident site today.
”NRC will continue to update the general public of developments to prevent misleading information and falsehood.”
The PUNCH had reported how terrorists bombed the Abuja-Kaduna rail tracks and attacked a train filled with passengers on Monday night.
Following the attack, the NRC suspended train operations along the Abuja-Kaduna route indefinitely.
Security operatives were also deployed to the scene of the attack.
The attack came a few days after the terrorists attacked the Kaduna International Airport where an aircraft was prevented from taking off.