17 killed as two trains collide in Angola

Train between Lobito and Benguela in Angola. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

At least 17 people have been killed and 12 others injured after two trains collided head-on in southwest Angola on Tuesday.

According to the office of the region’s governor, the incident near Munhino in Namibe Province happened when a train run by the state operator rammed into a stationary maintenance train that was being operated by Chinese engineers.

A statement read: “The accident claimed at least 17 lives including the two drivers, one Angolan and one Chinese.”

An investigation has been launched into the incident, which appeared to have been caused by human error.

“An on-duty railway employee was warned by the Chinese maintenance crew but could not prevent the departure of the train, loaded with granite, from Lubango station,” according to an official who declined to be named.

“When he realised his mistake, it was too late to avoid a disaster.”

The incident is the second since the beginning of the year on the 260km line between Lubango and Mocamedes.

A train derailed in February but no fatalities were reported.