Safety under spotlight after train crashes

The driver of the train that crashed into a stationary train in Soweto last week was dismissed on Tuesday for doing 85km/h in a 30km/h zone, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Wednesday.

“He was travelling at 85km/h in a 30km/h zone and was doing 33km/h an hour on impact ... he passed through two red signals,” said Lucky Montana, Prasa Group CEO.

CEO for the rail division Mosenngwa Mofi said in response to the Soweto accident and another accident in Tshwane a few weeks ago that an extraordinary meeting was held on Saturday to review safety measures.

R20-million to assist victims
Eight-hundred-and-fifty-seven people were injured when two trains collided in Meadowlands a week ago.

Eighteen victims are still in hospital.

Prasa said it had also set aside R20-million to assist the victims of the two accidents, which will be over and above the payment of hospital bills.

Starting next week, victims of the two accidents with serious injuries will receive R10 000 in compensation and victims with other injuries will receive R7 500.

Montana explained that R19,5-billion has been set aside for infrastructure upgrade including improvement of the signalling system and stations.—Sapa

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