The evacuation of passengers on the trapped Kaduna-bound train from Abuja has been concluded by security forces, officials of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Nigerian Red Cross.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State, Samuel Aruwan.
The train was conveying passengers from Abuja to Kaduna on Monday when it was attacked by gunmen suspected to be bandits in Kaduna State.
Many passengers were feared injured while several others were said to have been kidnapped by the assailants.
Mr. Aruwan in a statement on Tuesday morning said that the passengers who sustained injuries, and other fatalities, have been moved to hospitals.
According to him, the passengers were evacuated from different hard-to-reach areas in forests and rocky locations in Audujongom, off the Kaduna-Abuja Road.
“As stated yesterday, the Kaduna State Government is still liaising with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to ascertain the list from the passengers manifest for efficient tracking”.
Aruwan noted that Governor Nasir El-Rufai who commended all those who participated in the evacuation appealed to the hospitals to attend to the victims diligently.
The Governor also directed the Ministry of Health to be in contact with the hospitals as the government will bear the cost of their treatment.
“As of the time of this update, search-and-rescue operations are in progress”, he added.
Following the incident, troops have been mobilized to the scene of the attack.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has visited the scene of the Kaduna – Abuja train attack.
This was disclosed by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations in a statement obtained by The Matrix.
The COAS, who was accompanied by some principal staff officers of the Army Headquarters and the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, on arrival at the scene, assessed the security situation around the general area of the attack and inspected the attacked train, as well as the rail track to evaluate the degree of damage.
He ordered the troops of the NA and other security agencies to intensify their search and rescue operations to ensure that the kidnapped victims are rescued unconditionally.
The COAS has also assured Nigerians that the troops will be undeterred and vehement in the fight against banditry and other forms of criminality.
He urged members of the surrounding communities and all Nigerians to continue to avail troops with credible information to enhance their operations across the country. Gen Yahaya observed that the attack reverberates the need for critical stakeholders to review the security of railways across the country in order to achieve the desired security architecture for railway transportation.