Train carrying chemicals derails

2012-12-04 00:00

THE main ralway line between Pietermaritzburg and Durban has been closed after seven wagons from a goods train derailed behind Hulamin near Moses Mabhida Road on Sunday.

The train, carrying chemicals, was travelling to Durban. There were no injuries.

Shosholoza Meyl spokesperson Ravind Folly said passenger trains between the two cities would be cancelled until the line was cleared.

Folly said rail passengers would be taken by bus from Pietermaritzburg station to Durban.

Area production manager Kevin Thomas said the wagons that derailed were carrying dangerous chemicals from Sasolburg to Durban, but would not be drawn on exactly what the chemicals were.

He said the derailment happened between 6 pm and 7 pm on Sunday.

Yesterday, a team of investigators was at the scene, trying to find the cause of the accident. Electricity to the line was cut off and a diesel train was used to help move some of the derailed wagons.

Passenger trains and other goods trains were stopped before they could reach the accident scene.

Transnet spokesperson Selby Dlamini said: “The main line is closed, but we will be working hard to remove these wagons once the team of investigators finish opening line one.”

He said some of the chemicals from the train were leaking, but he too was unable to tell The Witness what the chemicals were.

Dlamini said hazardous materials teams from the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, and from the Department of Water Affairs were monitoring the situation closely.

He added there was no fear of water contamination as there were no streams nearby.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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