The family of the late railroad technician of ArcelorMittal Liberia is accusing the company of intentionally murdering its relative. The late Mr. Macdonald P.S. Dolo was one of two staff who died on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 after a rail equipment carrying maintenance crew came in contact with loaded wagons stationed on the rail line around Kilometer 196 in Nimba County.
Four other employees are seriously injured and said to be on critical list, according to eye witnesses.
According to a statement issued in Yekepa, the Dolo Family says ArcelorMittal’s “complete negligence, neglect and recklessness in the aftermath of the deadly train accident is nothing short of a deliberate murder.”
The Dolo Family says it therefore demands answers from the company over the loss of its loved one who didn’t have to die on duty under such a reckless manner he did.
“We believe that Mr. Dolo, your ‘committed’ rail technician and his dead colleague, Mr. Justin Mars, a M-contractor would not have died if AML had prioritized saving their lives,” the Dolo Family said in a Press Statement, the Family cried, further threatening legal action against the company.
The Dolo Family, among others, lamented ArcelorMittal’s poor safety measures for its rail maintenance crew, the company’s slow and inhumane response as well as the company’s deliberate abandoning of the critically injured staff by dumping them at the JFK Hospital in Monrovia after being evacuated from NimbaCounty.
The family also takes the company to task for what it termed as a mockery when it referred to the two deceased staff as ‘committed’ on grounds that ArcelorMittal’s terrible and inhumane response did not prove that the late Mr. Dolo and Mr. Mars were ‘committed staff’.
The Dolo family said it remains puzzled over the manner in which few members of the family had to assume responsibility of the hospital bill after the company chose to allow its staff to die by not even calling medical personnel’s attention to the critically injured staff at the JFK Hospital.
“This was so grave that it took a few of our family members who had gone to check on Mr. Dolo taking the responsibility of calling the nurses’ attention to him and paying bills. It was after we began crying in the hospital that the nurses asked us to get four pounds of blood. Then it was then that available family members including the wife who travelled all the way from Yekepa upon hearing the news of her husband began to donate blood. By this time, over 10 hours had passed since they were abandoned, neglected and completely ignored by the AML personnel who took them at the JFK and left even though Mr. Dolo kept crying out for help on the hospital bed.
“AML’s ambulances only dropped off, or rather dumped the seriously injured ‘committed staff’ at the JFK Hospital and left them unattended without the slightest human feelings or ordinary common sense of ensuring that its own wounded and bleeding staff were immediately attended to. As a result of AML’s abandonment at the JFK Hospital, our relation and his colleague had to die like animals,” the family added, as contained in a formal letter of complaint to the company.
Relating to Arcelor’s untimely intervention and unnecessary delay, the family challenges ArcelorMittal’sassertion that its emergency response and technical teams responded in time and that the injured were evacuated from the scene for medical care, the Dolo family says it is concerned over AML’s decision to have taken the critically injured staff all the way to Monrovia, ignoring even better facilities in Nimba, Bong, and Margibi Counties, as all three counties had to be driven or flown over before getting to Monrovia. “Why didn’t you consider, for instance, the Ganta United Methodist Hospital among others in NimbaCounty? What about the PhebeHospital in Bong County? Why not even the Duside Hospital in MargibiCounty, which is managed by another concession like you, Firestone?”
The Dolo family added, “Even though you ignored those hospitals in those three different counties and still insisted on bringing those critically wounded staff to Monrovia, the family is keenly interested in your choice of an already, heavily challenged JFK Hospital amidst all several other better medical facilities in Monrovia.”
The Dolo Family also challenges ArcelorMittal’s assertion that it “medically evacuated” the injured by helicopter to hospital.
“We have gathered that they were only evacuated ordinarily but not medically as there was not a single first aid or any form of medical temporary intervention while being evacuated. Is that how AML treats its ‘committed staff’?”
The family sees it as another big deception in Arcelor Mittal’s pronouncement of temporarily suspending rail operations as being in solidarity with the deaths of its staff.
“Mittal Steel only suspended its rail operations for the first day of the accident not out of concern for what has happened but because the remnants of the accident were still on the railroad which prevented any resumption of operations at the time. At the moment, the trains have begun transporting ores again. So let it not be stated that it halted operations as being in solidarity with our relation and his colleague’s deaths,” the family stated.
The claims from the Dolo family follows last week’s pronouncement by ArcelorMittal Liberia that two of its committed employees died as a result of injuries they sustained in a rail accident in Nimba County.
During the early hours of Tuesday, January 11, 2022, around Kilometer 196 in Nimba, a rail equipment carrying maintenance crew came in contact with loaded wagons stationed on the rail line, resulting in serious injuries to six AML employees.
The two staff succumbed to death after they were evacuated by helicopter to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia.
According to an ArcelorMittal press statement, a full investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident.
ArcelorMittal Liberia’s emergency response and technical teams responded and the injured were evacuated from the scene for medical care.
“It is with the deepest sadness that ArcelorMittal Liberia announces that two of its committed staff havesuccumbed to their injuries after being medically evacuated by helicopter to hospital,” the press release said.
The press statement quoted AML as saying that it will continue to work closely with the dedicated medical professionals to treat the injured, and has put in place plans for possible evacuation of the injured to neighboring countries for advanced medical care, if recommended by doctors.
Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal Liberia also announced that it temporarily suspended rail operations and will continue to support its employees in this terrible period of grief.
The company has at the same time extended its deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased, and solicits the prayers of all for the recovery of their colleagues as they are being cared for in hospital.