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Second huge train collision in South Africa this month

At least 200 commuters have been injured in a train collision near Johannesburg, South Africa in second huge accident this month.

Published: January 10, 2018, 10:59 am

    Johannesburg

    The commuter train rear-ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuis train station in Germiston on Tuesday morning.

    An investigation into the collision is underway and Metrorail says it was looking into whether copper cable theft was the reason.

    FWM reported last year that cable theft accounted for more than 45 per cent of the power outages in the City of Johannesburg, sabotaging the economy, leaving businesses and homes in the dark, costing ratepayers a fortune.

    According to Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng: “About 149 [people] were taken to various hospitals for treatment. I must emphasise that there are moderate injuries. We do not have any critical or serious injuries. No fatalities have since been reported.”

    This incident follows in the wake of the deadly Free State train crash last week in which at least 19 people were killed and hundreds more were injured when a train collided with a truck. Another 254 were treated for injuries.

    The Rail Safety Regulator says that its investigations into the Free State train crash has revealed that there was adequate signage warning the truck driver who crashed into the train to stop in what has been described by South African rail authority Prasa as one of the biggest accidents of its kind.

    The train, known as the Shosholoza Meyl, was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg when it collided with a truck attempting to cross the railway line and seven of the 15 carriages caught fire – trapping several inside the mangled burning wreckage.

    Acting Prasa Rail CEO Mthuthuzeli Swartz told the media the black driver had tried to beat the train.

    Following another train crash, this time in Germiston on Tuesday, the regulator has again blamed human error.

    Some 713 passengers were booked on the train, Swartz said, and 254 were injured of which four were critical‚ 23 in a serious condition and the remainder treated for minor injuries.

    A statement issued by Prasa however said 429 passengers were onboard.

    The regulator is expected to shed more light on their collision findings during a media briefing later on Wednesday.

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