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Yaounde Archdiocese Prays For Train Accident Victims 

By Djakariaou Celvistre & Melissa Missem*

Members of the Yaounde Archdiocese, Friday, September 4, celebrated a mass in honour of victims of the recent train accidents that occurred August 28 and 29. The mass, which took place at the Our Lady of Victory Cathedral, was presided over by the Vicar General of Yaounde Archdiocese, Monsignor Jean-Baptiste Ekobena. He was assisted by nine other priests including His Lordship Athanase Mballa, Emeritus Bishop of Bafia.

It should be recalled that two trains; a fuel and a passenger train both derailed killing seven people while many others were injured. At the Obobogo train accident, two people were declared dead while in Ngousso five people lost their lives and some 303 others hospitalised, according to the Board Chair of the Cameroon Railway Company, CAMRAIL, Hon. Hamadou Sali. Another sad incident that week end was a fire outbreak around the Yaounde Central Market which consumed many shops. 

At the start of the mass, Monsignor Ekobena disclosed that instructions to organise a prayer session in solidarity with the victims came from the Archbishop of Yaounde, Victor Tonye Bakot, who was unavoidably absent. He said the mass was a way of showing concern as well as demonstrating the spiritual solidarity of the archdiocese for those who lost their lives, sustained injuries or lost property in the disasters.

Congratulating government and CAMRAIL authorities, who did all they could to handle the situation, Ekobena regretted the fact that false information was dished out to members of the public which instead triggered panic. Jean Baptiste Ekobena used the occasion also to caution Christians to be vigilant at all times, as death can surprise anyone. He said man is simply on transit through the earth and should therefore never think of settling here indefinitely.

Talking to The Post shortly after the mass, Ekobena said personally he doesn’t know any victim of the disasters, but noted that the church has a moral obligation of praying for people in pain whether they are Catholics or not. "Man walks along with other men and so does the Church," he declared. A 74-year-old man, Arsene Mbarga, told The Post that he was in church first for his personal salvation and then to pray in solidarity with people suffering.
The St. Ambroise Choir of the cathedral sang during the mass.

(Journalism Students On Internship)

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