Sister forgives conductor who kicked girl off train

Grace Kayenga, the older sister of the 11 year-old girl who was kicked off a train earlier this week is ready to put the incident behind her, she stated in an interview with daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

Sister forgives conductor who kicked girl off train

“I forgive her for what she’s done, and I ask SJ to allow her to keep her job,” she said about the conductor who decided to force her younger sister off the train.

“I personally know how hard it is to live without a job, and besides, I think she’s learned her lesson. She’ll never do this to anyone again.”

She understands that media reports about 11 year-old Neema have caused an uproar, but along with her other siblings, Grace has experienced things in their homeland Democratic Republic of Congo that are difficult to even speak of.

In comparison, this event feels insignificant, she told the newspaper.

The incident that sparked a public storm against rail giant SJ occurred on a train from Örebro to Gothenburg.

The two girls bought their tickets on the train, from the very conductor who was later to throw 11-year-old Neema off the train.

As children under 15 travel free with an adult, the conductor assured Grace that a ticket for one adult would be sufficient, she explained to the newspaper.

“The conductor that threw my sister off had sold us the ticket herself just a little while before,” she said.

Grace went to the bathroom with the ticket, and in the ten minutes she was absent, the conductor came up to Neema, asked her for a ticket or money, and when she could present neither, kicked her off the train at a train station in Kumla, about 20 kilometres south of Örebro.

After a long night spent worrying about what could’ve happened to her younger sister, Grace finally learned at 8am the following morning that a local woman had taken care of her.

With this relatively happy ending, Grace now wants to move on.

“I don’t want to think anymore about it. I found my sister. She’s my best friend, and it would’ve been a catastrophe if anything had happened to her,” she said to Aftonbladet.

The conductor has been suspended from her work pending SJ’s investigation of events.

Despite the public’s outrage against her, representatives from union SEKO have backed her actions, choosing to blame the unfortunate event on unclear directives from SJ.

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Trains stopped between Stockholm and Gothenburg

Trains between Stockholm and Gothenburg have been stopped and between Stockholm and Malmö severely disrupted due to a fire and several electrical faults.

Trains stopped between Stockholm and Gothenburg

“We have problems with all rail traffic south of Norrland,” Peter Jonsson, from the Swedish Transport Administration, told the country’s TT newswire. “The heat has of course had an impact, particularly when it concerns the fire, but we’re not otherwise speculating on the cause.” 

According to the agency, the issues are the result of four separate incidents, a fire south of Hallsberg, an overhead power contact line, which has snapped, and two electrical faults. 

Peter Krameus, a spokesperson for Sweden’s state-owned rail company SJ, said that all trains were being sent back to the stations from which they most recently departed until the faults could be corrected. 

While trains between Stockholm and Gothenburg have been stopped completely, trains between Stockholm and Malmö have been affected by two problems with overhead lines. Trains between Mjölby and Nässjö and Eslöv and Stehag are travelling onto on one of the two lines now. 

“That doesn’t mean that all traffic has stopped, but it’s going to mean cancelled trains and delayed departures,” Jonsson said. 

So far, 50 of SJ’s train departures have been cancelled as a result of the faults.