Image: Zimlive

Three crew members of a National Railways of Zimbabwe cargo train bound for Beira in Mozambique died when it derailed between Mutare and Machipanda at 9PM on Monday, the company said.

“Preliminary investigations suggest that the locomotive, which was pulling 14 wagons laden with nine export chrome concentrates and five granite blocks may have suffered a brake failure leading to a runaway which culminated in the train failing to negotiate a sharp curve thereby falling into the gorge,” a company statement said.

“Sadly, three NRZ crews were trapped and could not make it to safety. The NRZ would like to express sincere condolences to the families of the hardworking, dedicated crew members who shall always be remembered by the railways family.”

The NRZ, once a giant transporter in the Southern African Development Community region, however is now a shadow of its former self, operates about 4,225km of railway lines and is failing to upgrade its network.