Train passengers hit by protruding logs

Nine train passengers were injured on Wednesday when they were hit by timber logs protruding from a stationary freight train near Tembisa on the East Rand.

The Railway Safety Regulator said six of the passengers suffered serious injuries and the rest only minor injuries.

”Early reports indicate that the passengers in a Metrorail train en route to Kaalfontein were hit by timber logs which were protruding from a stationary Transnet Freight Rail train,” said spokesperson Lawrence Venkile.

”We are not excluding the possibility that the people were hanging outside of the train,” he said.

The incident happened east of Johannesburg, near Oakmoor station in Tembisa, at about 6.25am on Wednesday.

The injured passengers were taken to Tembisa Hospital.

Safety inspectors were investigating whether the packaging of the timber in the freight train complied with loading specifications.

They would also seek to ascertain how the logs came to hit the passengers, and whether this was related to safety conditions on the passenger train.

Transnet spokesperson Mike Asefovitz said the company was investigating. It would examine the possibility that the freight train had experienced a ”load shift” in one of its wagons before the accident. — Sapa

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