One dead, hundreds injured in Pretoria train accident

A train driver was killed and 200 people were injured when two Metrorail trains collided at about 4pm on Friday between Akasiaboom and Winternest train stations in Pretoria.

“At this stage total of 200 people suffered injuries and were taken to various hospitals for treatment around Pretoria,” Metrorail said in a statement.

“One train driver suffered fatal injuries.”

The cause of the accident was still unknown, but Metrorail and emergency services as well the Rail Safety Regulator are investigating the accident.

“It is regrettable that this accident happened claiming one young life of our train driver and leaving so many injured loyal commuters,” Metrorail said.

“We’ve taken great care to ensure that all the injured commuters received medical care as soon as possible. The railway line is closed for this afternoon [Friday] until the accident scene is cleared. “

Alternative transport, buses, have been arranged for commuters.

Netcare911 paramedics said earlier that they had arrived at the scene to find that two fully laden passenger coaches had collided and derailed. Two of the carriages overturned adjacent to the tracks.

“The man’s body is trapped in the wreckage of a coach. Paramedics are tending to the injured, most of whom had clambered from the up ended coaches,” said Netcare911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks.

Some of the injured people were being taken to hospitals and clinics in the area. Eleven were seriously injured, said Wicks.

Paramedics had called for additional resources from outlying areas to assist in the transportation of the injured to medical facilities.

Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele and The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) sent condolences to the families of the of the victims.

“The minister of transport and Prasa would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of the young driver who was fatally injured during the accident as well as a speedy recovery to those who sustained injuries,” they said in a statement on Friday night.

Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana said the Metrorail operational team, led by the provincial manager in Gauteng, had “taken great care” in ensuring that adequate medical care was given to commuters. - Sapa



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