North Korean Train Wreck Caused by Missing Railroad Spikes

[imText1]Yanji, China — Train wrecks which occurred in Yangkang Province last month were found to be caused by stolen railroad spikes, a source from the province said.

“The train derailed because somebody had stolen railroad spikes. Four passenger coaches fell into ravine, claiming hundreds of casualties,” said the source in a phone interview with DailyNK on April 9.

The accident took place in Youngha-ri, Woonheung, which lies between Namjoong and Baekam Station in Yangkang Province. Railroad accidents continues to take place in the Youngha-ri area because the area is surrounded by rugged and steep mountains and the country’s train railroad equipment has deteriorated since the late 1980s.

The source said, “Every year, there are derailment accidents taking place in Baekam due to missing rail spikes. The Public Security investigated every case, but to no avail. The source added, “For the most time, freight trains have been targeted for wrecking. However, passenger trains were wrecked this time due to a change in train schedule.”

“Each passenger coach can carry about 58 persons. However, the actual number of passengers always exceeds the seating capacity. Despite poor train conditions, trains run downhill carrying around one hundred passengers in each rail car. No wonder train brakes go out so frequently,” the source said.

The source also reported the North Korean authorities concluded that the recent train wrecks were staged by anti-revolution spies operating within the country. The source said that the authorities have launched a massive educational program for people under the slogan which says, “Destroy anti-DPRK schemes of enemies home and abroad and defend to the end the gains of revolution won by blood.”

In the mean time, the source said that the March 24 accident took place in Youngha-ri, Woonheung of Yangkang Province, not in Yanghwa-ri, Shinpo of South Hamkyung Province as reported by Daily NK on April 4.

In the article titled, “Several Hundred Casualties in Train Incidents,” DailymNK reported, “On the 24th and 27th of March, there were two cases of trains overturning, killing or seriously wounding hundreds of people in the workers’ area of Goeup, Kim Hyung Jik (a county), Yangkang Province and in Shinpo, South Hamkyung Province.”

However, several inside sources later confirmed to Daily NK that the March 27 accident took place in Youngha-ri of Woonheung, Yangkang Province.