The Nigerian Railway Corporate (NRC) has opened up on the number of passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train that was attacked by terrorists on Monday.
The corporation said contrary to the insinuation that 970 passengers were on board the train, the NRC said only 362 passengers actually boarded the AK9 service.
A statement issued by the corporation’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, said 398 passengers purchased tickets, out of which 362 boarded the train.
Okhira said the corporation regretted the death of eight passengers and security personnel attached to the train service as well as the injury suffered by scores of our passengers, not to mention the trauma caused to them and crew by the armed attack.
“We also earnestly pray for the speedy recovery of the injured passengers while praying God grants the families of the bereaved fortitude to bear the loss.
“Our attention has however been drawn to the misleading and insensitive information circulating on social media with respect to the number of passengers on the train,” he said.
He said for the avoidance of any doubt, the Abuja – Kaduna service is run on a fully automated e-ticket system with entry and exit turnstiles that validate every passenger onboard our trains.
“Ticket checkers also validate the tickets of every passenger via electronic validators linked to the central system to verify the integrity of our manifest.
“Three Hundred and Ninety-Eight passengers purchased tickets to travel on the NRC AK9 service, and 362 (three hundred and sixty-two) passengers actually boarded the AK9 service.
“The entire seat capacity of the train in question is 840 (eight hundred and forty) passengers; therefore, the figure of 970 (Nine hundred and seventy) being circulated cannot be correct,” he explained.
Okhiria said the AK9 service is the last service out of Abuja on a Monday evening and is usually at less than half capacity.
He added that passengers on board the AK9 service on Monday had confirmed that the train was certainly not running at full capacity.
“The NRC is continuing its efforts to reach out to passengers using the comprehensive manifest in order to obtain valid information about their present condition,” he said.