The police in Makueni County have started a manhunt for unknown people who have destroyed a section of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Vandalism of the railway line in the village of Thange, discovered around 3 p.m. Monday, resulted in a Madaraka Express passenger train bound for Mombasa being stranded in the area for hours as Kenya Railways technicians rushed to fix the problem.
“A Kenya Railways official reported the problem at 3 p.m. It was fixed hours later,” a security source privy to the incident told the nation. He spoke on condition of anonymity, as he is not allowed to comment on topics that affect the SGR.
A police report of the incident seen by the nation confirmed his account.
The incident left dozens of passengers stranded on the evening train around 6 p.m.
The police incident report, which heavily quoted George Orawo, head of rail security operations in the area, shows that the vandals removed 22 continuous gauge blocks of unknown value from the rail.
“The gauge blocks were removed in such a way that the train derailed / capsized … Efforts are being made to track down the suspects and arrest them. The area manager and Nyumba Kumi are working together on the search, ”the report said.
The journey resumed two hours later after technicians from Kenya Railways fixed the problem.
“We have completed the safety check and normal traffic has resumed. The trains will now arrive at 9:00 pm in Nairobi and at 9:30 pm in Mombasa,” said the railway authority in a statement on its official Twitter handle.
It apologized to the passengers for the inconvenience.