YAOUNDE - Rescue efforts at the site of a deadly train derailment in Cameroon got a boost Tuesday when workers discovered a baby alive in the wreckage. The accident Friday killed at least 80 people and wounded hundreds more.
Residents of the capital have been trooping to the Yaounde Center for Children in Distress to see the country's so-called miracle baby.
When VOA visited, the one-year-old girl cried in the arms of anyone but the military men who brought her in nearly four days after the accident.
"It was amazing to see that one soldier wounded had in his hands a little baby with mud everywhere," Serge Mandoumbi, a Cameroon presidential guard official told VOA. " And also we saw that she had blood and immediately we asked a nurse to go to examine, to look at the baby if something could be done."
It is believed the child's mother died in the crash.
The child was brought in alongside another infant survivor, an eight-month-old baby. That baby’s mother was killed in the accident. But witnesses told VOA she had tossed her baby out the window of the train car before it flipped.
Authorities are hunting for relatives of the two babies.
Cameroon's Minister of Social Affairs Pauline Irene Nguene said they will be given appropriate medical care while investigations continue.
“Of course we will not give them the babies until we are sure that they are the real parents," she said.
Cameroon’s president Paul Biya has ordered a month-long investigation into the train derailment.
Some said the passenger train was overloaded, but the train operator’s parent company, Bollore Africa Railways, told Reuters Tuesday the train was moving at “an abnormally high speed” when it went off the tracks.