Cable theft caused train collision

2013-01-31 12:01
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Pretoria train crash

Two passenger trains have collided near Kalafong station in Pretoria. See all the latest pictures from the scene of the accident.

Johannesburg - Cable theft was the cause of a train collision near Atteridgeville in Pretoria on Thursday morning, Metrorail says.

An updated estimate says two people, including the train driver, have sustained critical injuries. Eight people are in a serious condition and 300 injuries have been reported.

Among those, 50 schoolchildren have sustained minor injuries, Jacaranda News reported.

Emergency personnel previously estimated the number to be around 150 people, with six thought to be seriously injured.

 "It’s time we recognise cable theft as attempted murder. People could have died today," Metrorail said at a press conference.

The loss of cables reportedly means the trains were operating on manual mode.

The company is reportedly in discussions with the departments of justice and police to address the issue of cable theft.

They're working on technology to see whether the copper in cables can be replaced with another product.


The accident happened around 07:20 near Church Street in Pretoria when a passenger train rammed into another stationary train from behind on the same track.

 "The metal was torn and crumpled from the force of the two trains colliding,” ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said.

Power lines on top of the trains were damaged.

The area was cordoned off and a triage area for patients was erected nearby. Hundreds of emergency service personnel were on the scene, treating patients on the scene and transporting them to the hospital.

"After approximately two and a half hours on scene, it appears that most of the more seriously injured patients have been removed to hospital and only those that have sustained relatively minor injuries in the incident will be transported shortly," Jackson said.

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