One killed and 240 injured in Denver train crash

Oringinally published onApril 29, 2015 by Wits Vuvuzela written by 

The train was on its way from Pretoria to Johannesburg when it collided with a stationary carriage.

METRORAIL CRASH: Metroplus carriages derailed into a building and another onto a platform. Photo: Illanit Chernick
METRORAIL CRASH: Metroplus carriages derailed into a building and another onto a platform. Photo: Illanit Chernick

 

A train crash in Denver, Johannesburg left one person dead and over 240 people injured, on Tuesday.

“I just heard this loud bang. The coach flew forward and lost its balance. I fell to the floor. There were people bleeding everywhere. I’m in shock.”

The rear end collision took place in the early hours of the morning, when a Business Express train collided with a stationary Metrorail train. Both trains were travelling from Pretoria to Johannesburg.

At the scene of the crash, the metroplus carriages were derailed, one crashed onto the platform and another into a building.

One of the victims told The Star, “I just heard this loud bang. The coach flew forward and lost its balance. I fell to the floor. There were people bleeding everywhere. I’m in shock.”

Russell Meiring, an ER spokesperson added, “ER24 paramedics, along with various services, arrived on the scene and found the wrecked trains blocking the tracks completely. Bent metal and parts of the train had been spread across the scene.”

Crash was not caused by signal failure

Mosenngwa Mofi, CEO of Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) rail operations ruled out signal failure as the cause of the accident. He said that the crash occurred during the two minutes that the Metroplus train driver was communicating with the Metrorail control officer about whether or not to continue.

The woman who died has been identified as Tiisetso Napo, a Metrorail safety guard. Napo was standing at the back of the stationery train when the crash occurred.

Another woman, who has been identified as one of the train drivers, was air-lifted from the scene and taken to hospital where she is currently receiving critical healthcare.

CEO of Prasa, Lucky Monatana has said that Prasa will compensate the passengers that have been injured and has set aside 25 million rand. “The 25 million are for people who have suffered minor injuries… People will claim and we will pay them between R7 500, which is the minimum amount, and the maximum amount we will pay is R15 000, that will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries.”

Montana acknowledged the shortcomings of the current system and said that Prasa is in the process of implementing better railway systems. He also said that with the new systems there will be less space for human error.

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