News24

Train crash: Body parts strewn over 200m

2012-07-13 12:03

Johannesburg - Emergency personnel are having a difficult time counting the number of dead at an Mpumalanga level crossing accident because body parts were ripped apart and strewn over 200m, police said on Friday.

The accident happened when a coal train ploughed into a truck carrying farmworkers at a level crossing near Hectorspruit.

At least 19 people were killed. A spokesperson for Mpumalanga’s community safety department told AFP it appears that more than 30 people were killed.

"It is a very gruesome scene. Some bodies are without heads and some without limbs. Forensic teams are still working on the scene," police spokesperson Joseph Mabusa said.

The truck was carried 200 metres by the impact, leaving body parts in its wake and making it hard for forensic experts to say how many people were killed, he added.

"The driver was taken to hospital. His condition is unknown. It's difficult to say what happened but at this stage it seems that the truck miscalculated as it was crossing the railway line."

Emergency services said at least 24 other people were injured, some of them critically.

State rail operator Transnet said the train was carrying coal for export to Mozambique, but there was no derailment. The coal was destined for the Indian Ocean port of Maputo.

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Comments
  • rahil.khanna.520 - 2012-07-13 12:16

    what a distatestfull headline ...how abt just Massive Train crash. News24 shows no sensitivity !

      Mark - 2012-07-13 12:19

      Overly sensitive much? RIP to all killed. Tragic accident.

      matthew.swanepoel.9 - 2012-07-13 12:43

      Just trying to get a reaction out of readers. Dont feed them with your comments. Journalism has taken a nose dive in South Africa.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-07-13 12:54

      The distastefulness is necessary to shock people in order to make them aware of road safety. If this is "softened" no lesson will be learned!

      Hermann - 2012-07-13 12:55

      The banner highlights the care not attitude of so many careless drivers. Maybe we should have more such banners as headlines in an attempr to make our roads safer.

      manny.dasilva.334 - 2012-07-13 16:20

      Perhaps if there were some graphic pictures of accidents, people MIGHT just get a wake up call and start thinking before they take any "miscalculated" chances. Before anyone rushes to comment, I am referring to accidents in general.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 19:33

      Rahil, I hope the medics won't overlook the arms and legs hanging in the trees. That is hard work. I remember about a cyclist who was wiped out by a train. For many days they could not find the head. Much later, on maintenance on the locomotive at central station, it was found lodged deep in the under-carriage. No, I don't know about the burial arrangements either. Could be subsequently buried in a separate mini-coffin. More dignified than digging-up and prising open the coffin. Or perhaps they opted for cremation of the head. But then visiting the grave would be a bit fake.... @ Manny, and not some lame low-res. please! BTW, I am very, very cautious at railway crossings.

  • Hemlock - 2012-07-13 12:22

    This is horrific.....News24, please try to print headlines in future that show some sensitivity!!

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-14 00:31

      They got you to click on it...

  • martin.ferguson.7311 - 2012-07-13 12:23

    BIG UP TO EMERGENCEY WORKERS.THIS IS SOMETHING THEY WILL NEVER FORGET

      Jo.Davies123 - 2012-07-13 13:44

      Why on earth would someone put a thumbs down to this? The emergency services are doing an amazing job under stressful and traumatising conditions. Just wait until it is you laying there bleeding to death

  • pretty.zwane.71 - 2012-07-13 12:24

    may their souls be at peace.

  • nkululeko.zuma.52 - 2012-07-13 12:31

    "Miscalculation"? Carelessness.

  • tolo.maano - 2012-07-13 12:37

    This is not gud news...this is 2012 a year of illuminate.to be safe is to hide under the blood o f JESUS no whr....may their souls rest in peace###sad##

  • thadelphukem.completely - 2012-07-13 12:38

    This is tragic... My thoughts go out to the many family members who have lost their loved ones! Also i have to say thank you to the emergency workers at the scene, people always forget to acknowledge them! This must horrific for them to see and work with... Thanks and blessings to all of you!!! May the deceased rest in peace

  • sika.ncamane - 2012-07-13 12:39

    Friday the 13th

      godesha - 2012-07-13 12:50

      You're sick!!!

      Ettiene - 2012-07-13 13:21

      Jason was the truck driver!!!

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 19:47

      What's wrong with telling the date? Hardly "sick" But a bit redundant. We type this on a computer, they all have the date in the right top/lower corner. Anybody know when is Final Destiny VI coming out?

  • moatlhodierasmus.dire - 2012-07-13 12:46

    Its sad to see things like that.RIP all the deceased.

  • linda.c.vanbruggen - 2012-07-13 12:47

    This accident was the result of human error. It could've been avoided if the driver was more careful. I would not want to be in his shoes because he will now have to face the burden of guilt for the lives he had ended in a moment of stupidity. My heart goes out to the all who have been injured and to the families of the deceased.

  • Xulu.Thulany.Xaba - 2012-07-13 12:51

    I c no reason y the driver should still be alive!!! My opinion

      gladstone.dyonase - 2012-07-13 13:16

      Last night we saw these farmers and the damages they are doing to our black people on Special Assighnment. And now this.

      Ettiene - 2012-07-13 13:22

      gldstone you are a idiot!!!!! BTW tdo you see the damages you and your people cause to this country!!!!!

      Jo.Davies123 - 2012-07-13 13:46

      This will come out in the investigation. We don't know where the train hit the truck, and he had additional protection from the cab.

      gladstone.dyonase - 2012-07-13 13:48

      @WTF, you can call me whateva you like. But it is a fact that those late farm workers couldn't leave their forefathers land and graves, neither could they escape that R200 a month so called salary. One day is One day!

      Frank - 2012-07-13 18:29

      Hey Gladstone, Are you sure the farmer was driving the train?

  • Anakin - 2012-07-13 12:51

    Condolences to all the families and individuals affected by this tragedy. I haven't yet read all the other comments but suffice to say that as a logical thinker I COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY FAIL TO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS CAN YET AGAIN HAPPEN: This is the last straw!!! If motor vehicles/trucks/taxis CANNOT or WILL NOT UNDERSTAND that a train has FIRST PRIORITY and RIGHT OF WAY at ANY train crossing then we are NEVER going to win with avoiding these accidents. A train has momentum (energy) P=MV when moving, as any other object with velocity behind it. The M factor is the danger here as even at low speed eg.60km/h a train cannot stop at a ticky, even if all the brakes both on the locomotive and carriages/trailers behind it lock in an emergency stop. Worse still, how can one "not look" for trains at ANY rail crossing?! I DON'T UNDERSTAND it. The only way left now for avoiding STUPID ACCIDENTS like this in future would be do build motor-vehicle bridges OVER the railway-lines in future, so that there is no way for a vehicle to be over the tracks at any crossing. It won't help to prosecute more drivers if the stupidity just continues and claim innocent passengers' lives at great cost to both the families and relatives involved. I also think it should be MANDATORY for all learner drivers to be taught what P=MV means in the real world, that it's not just a "nerd" formula: it's also the reason why one shouldn't just cut in front of a big truck/tanker on the freeway with ANY type of vehicle.

      bambanani.mdzimba - 2012-07-13 13:09

      thats a lot of sense,good words.

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-14 00:34

      Good words indeed but as a qualified driver I am aware of this and take extra care near railway crossings. Why on earth do these accidents happen so often? Unqualified drivers?

  • chris.khanye - 2012-07-13 12:51

    Not again - the truck miscalculated as it was crossing the railway line.

      fanie.gerber.98 - 2012-07-13 16:15

      indeed as if the truck made the choice -NEWS24 WAKE UP inanimate objects don't think or kill or miscalculate - those are exclusive human traits

  • musamuskid - 2012-07-13 12:58

    Friday 13th

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-14 00:35

      Congrats to the human calendar! See you same time tomorrow?

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-13 13:01

    why is it the people ignore trains at level crossing, what is it with these stupid people, its not hard to understand, WHEN YOU DRIVE UP TO A LEVEL CROSSING OPEN YOUR EYES & LOOK, BEFORE CROSSING, is this too hard to get into their thick sculls, IDIOTS!!!!!

  • wendy.n.schmidt - 2012-07-13 13:01

    If you see a train, you stop .. you don't calculate when you have other people on your transport. Bad driving .. again!

      Emily-Jane Elson - 2012-07-13 13:26

      It's just not a chance you take!!

  • gladstone.dyonase - 2012-07-13 13:08

    Why didn't they count the number of people who got into the truck from the first place? That's negligence at its best.

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-14 00:36

      Probably have no idea - will just wait to see who doesn't come to work on Monday :(

  • Henk - 2012-07-13 13:18

    Education in this country.....Last time I checked the average person had on head, two arms and two legs....

      Ettiene - 2012-07-13 13:23

      hahahahaha

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-07-13 14:00

      Henk, \It is a very gruesome scene. Some Bodies (not one body) are without heads and some without limbs (meaning more than one body is without a head and limbs). Forensic teams are still working on the scene,\. Tjo White South Africans...

      Henk - 2012-07-13 14:27

      William they are struggling to count the amount dead! So if you have ten heads, how many dead people do you have?

  • mtlhavanirecksons - 2012-07-13 13:20

    A very sad day for the families of the diseased!!

  • Ettiene - 2012-07-13 13:20

    it seems that the truck miscalculated as it was crossing the railway line." The truck did not mis calculated the driver did!!!!!

  • KavishVather - 2012-07-13 13:22

    We live in a world where trains are blamed for the rails they're supposed to use. My condolences for the dead. Pathetic driving on SA roads, and even worse off wording by News24. You can add this to your list of trash write-ups.

  • Emily-Jane Elson - 2012-07-13 13:28

    SURELY he saw the train coming and should then not even have considered crossing!! Idiot.. The fact that he was T-Boned and the truck was dragged tells me he took a chance and obviously didn't make it or.. Wtf ever!! You just don't take chances like that!!

  • mohapeloa.mohapeloa - 2012-07-13 13:31

    Some accidents are really avoidable. How can we continue to have level xsing accidents in 2012 ? I'm sorry but this really gets me upset. Here we have very cheaply lost 19+ lives, something we could have easily avoided with today's technology. I don't know how other countries do it, but why can't we have boom gates at every level xsing that will not open if they detect a train coming say, 500m away? I really don't mean to be self-righteous, but this is seriously unacceptable !!! The powers that be must do something. Condolences to all concerned. May God be with you in this trying time.

  • sylvia.shaw.7 - 2012-07-13 13:35

    How can a truck miscalculate? It was obviously the truck driver who took a chance and recklessly endangered the lives of so many workers. When will people ever learn?

  • puse.mabuza - 2012-07-13 14:14

    Poor farmer will be traumitized for a very longtime. I mean where will he get another 30 employees.That being said poor families who lost more than just 1member.Truly sad

  • tshepo.selelane - 2012-07-13 14:28

    Shucks... Crappy Friday the 13th. RIP to the lost souls. Arrest the driver.

  • christine.nuttall - 2012-07-13 18:41

    Terrible,however why arn't the workers transported properly in say a bus and not on an open truck.I live in the UK now but spent 28 years in SA and there is no safety when it comes to transporting people,they all climb on the back of bakkies and trucks however full it gets.SA need a Health and Safety Committee in place.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 19:33

    I hope the medics won't overlook the arms and legs hanging in the trees. That is hard work. I know about a cyclist who was wiped out by a train. For many days they could not find the head. Much later, on maintenance on the locomotive at central station, it was found lodged deep in the under-carriage. No, I don't know about the burial arrangements either. Could be subsequently buried in a separate mini-coffin. More dignified than digging-up and prising open the coffin. Or perhaps they opted for cremation of the head. But then visiting the grave would be a bit fake.... @ Manny, and not some lame low-res. please! BTW, I am very, very cautious at railway crossings.

  • Adair - 2012-07-13 20:57

    I cannot understand why we still have unguarded railway intersections.A boom gate should automatically come down when a train is near.

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-14 00:40

      I agree. I can't see any mention in the report of a boom gate or not. Maybe there was one and the driver bashed through it. Will be keen to read a proper, detailed report.

  • patrick.makgeledise - 2012-07-13 21:04

    You know sometimes they say when death calls you, you do stupid stupid things. The train miscalculate, thats........

  • John - 2012-07-13 22:07

    The government and it's corporation called TRANSNET should take resoonsibilty for the erection of boom gates at EVERY level crossing! Their trains should approach ALL level crossings at a reasonable speed. Their trains should sound a warning signal at the approach to a level crossing. There are always two or more parties to a collision! Both parties share responsibility! Cut out BLAMING the motorist ONLY!

  • John - 2012-07-13 22:25

    How about this scenario?\r\nMisty morning, bad visibility, train driver asleep, train speeding, no headlight on, faulty warning siren. No don't blame the government CORPORATION, they NEVER do anythng wrong, blame the truck driver, that is the easy target. Are the COPS going to charge TRANSNET with culpable homicide, murder, reckless or negligent driving?

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-14 00:41

      Yes man, that train was obviously weaving from side to side across both tracks

  • mark.bothma.5 - 2012-07-23 07:50

    Why is the driver always the one that has the least amount of injuries???

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