Updated: 22/10/16 : 13:09:44
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World :: Dozens killed as Cameroon passenger train derails

At least 55 people have been killed and almost 600 injured after a packed passenger train derailed in Cameroon.

Passengers in the front of the train reported seeing the carriages behind swing off the tracks moments before the crash.

"There was a loud noise. I looked back and the wagons behind us left the rails and started rolling over and over. There was a lot of smoke," said a Reuters journalist travelling in a wagon near the front of the train.

At least 14 people are still feared to be trapped under the debris of the train, which is strewn across adjacent rail tracks.

The accident occurred around 120km (75 miles) west of the capital Yaounde while the Camrail inter-city train was en route to the port city of Douala, Cameroon's transport minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo'o said.

"The cause of the accident is not yet clear," he said, adding that several of the injured were in very serious condition.

"There are the bodies of women, children. There are many," said one employee of Camrail, which is operated by France's Bollore, adding that three of his colleagues were among the victims.

The train is said to have been crammed with people due to road traffic disruption between Yaounde and Douala.

According to the Reuters journalist at the scene, a rail employee said additional carriages had been added to the train to accommodate people who were unable to made the journey by road.

It is unclear, however, whether that played a role in the accident.

Camrail has expressed its condolences to the victims' families in a post on Facebook.