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ArcelorMittal’s Risky Railway

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There appears imposing danger along global steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s operated railway in Liberia with more than nine accidents occurring since active transportation activities resumed in 2011.

The company this year complained about the facilities exposure to theft. In the absence of an independent railway regulator, the actual state of the rail lines with respect to safety matters cannot be guaranteed. ArcelorMittal enjoys Monopoly of the rail.

On Sunday, the company confirmed another accident.  A section of the Duo rail bridge was severely damaged while equipment for the Phase II Project was being transported from Buchanan to Tokadeh, the iron ore miner said.

On Saturday, train transporting a crane to Yekepa collapsed on a bridge at the border between Grand Bassa and Bong Counties, causing serious damage to the bridge.

“They were transporting an oversized crane to Yekepa. It could take at least three months to repair the bridge. The crane was too heavy and it hit the bridge.” Daniel Kollie, a resident of the area said.

The derailment took place at 158 k from Buchanan at the border between Grand Bassa and Bong counties on the St. John Bridge.

According to eyewitnesses the train was carrying a crane and few project cargoes to Yekepa when the derailment took place.

“The crane oversized the wagons when it passed by us. Few minutes later we heard that heavy sound on the bridge. When we got here we saw the bridge damaged. People who were closer said that the crane hit the bridge.” Martha Kpadeh, 45, resident of the area, said.

This incident happened barely a week after ArcelorMITTAL was asked to leave Kazakhstan following a deadly incident in a mine of the Asian country.

At least 32 persons died in Kazakhstan in a new incident at a mining site of ArcelorMITTAL, authorities of that Central Asian country announced on Saturday October 29, 2023.

According to France 24, Kazakhstan has ordered to put an end to the cooperation with the World Steel giant and has assured that the subsidiary of ArcelorMITTAL in the country will be state-owned.

“The Government has received the order to put an end to the investment cooperation with ArcelorMITTAL Temirtau.” A communique from the office of the President of Kazakhstan said on Saturday October 29, 2023.

The Government has also expressed its desire to seize control of the company’s local subsidiary which confirmed in the afternoon hours that negotiations were ongoing to have it as a state-run company.

According to a new death toll released by the authorities, 32 workers have died in the incident and 14 others are un-accounted for, and this incident is said to be the worst one in the history of Kazakhstan.

“At 4pm 32 bodies of workers were found in the mine of Kostenko, we are still looking for 14 more workers.” A press release from the Ministry of Emergency situations stipulated.

In a precedent incident, ArcelorMITTAL had announced 21 deaths, 208 evacuated and 23 disappearances in the Kostenko mine.

This is the worst mining incident in Kazakhstan since 2006, when 41 workers died in a mining site of Arcelor MITTAL and a second deadly incident in just two months later in another site of ArcelorMITTAL.

ArcelorMittal is operating 15 factories and mining sites in this industrial zone extremely polluted by this immense ex-republic of the Soviet-Union rich in natural resources.

The Kazakh Government has during the past few months denounced the “systematic character” of the incidents in areas where ArcelorMITTAL is operating.

Kazakhstan, which is the first economy of central Asia, has oil, gas, uranium, manganese, iron ores, chrome, as well as coal.

 

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