Key rail bridge for Ivory Coast-Burkina Faso trade collapses

by Reuters
Wednesday, 7 September 2016 18:44 GMT

(Corrects to state that Sitarail hopes to resume service by end September, clarifies that only part of bridge collapse and that rail service ends at Ouagadougou)

ABIDJAN, Sept 6 (Reuters) - A bridge on the railway linking Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso partially collapsed on Tuesday, said Sitarail, a unit of the Bollore group.

Nobody was injured when a section of the bridge over the River Nzi close to Dimbokro in central Ivory Coast collapsed. Officials are inspecting the damage before starting repairs, Sitarail said in a statement.

A company official said Sitarail was hoping that repair work would allow for rail traffic to resume by the end of September.

The railway was built by French colonizers to link the port city of Abidjan with Niamey, Niger, via the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso exports cotton and manganese to Abidjan along the 1,260-km (780-mile) railway and imports oil, cement, merchandise and fertilizer.

Sitarail said the railway carried 200,000 people in 2015 and 900,000 tonnes of freight. (Reporting by Ange Aboa; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Peter Cooney)

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