Train crash: Cops consider charges

2012-07-13 13:21
Emergency personnel at the scene of the Mpumalanga train and truck collision. (ER24)

Emergency personnel at the scene of the Mpumalanga train and truck collision. (ER24)

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Cape Town - Police are investigating a gruesome train crash scene in Mpumalanga and are considering laying a charge of culpable homicide, AFP reported on Friday.

Some officials say that 19 people are dead while another said more than 30 people are dead. The accident happened when a truck collided with a train at a level crossing around 07:00.

The driver of the truck survived the crash and some of the critically injured were airlifted to hospital.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said the truck had been carrying farm workers on the N4 between Malelane and Hectorspruit.

Provincial community safety department spokesperson Joseph Mabuza said he could not confirm casualties until the forensic team had concluded its investigation.

He said the train dragged the truck for about 200m and there were bodies with limbs missing scattered on the ground.

"The train was a goods train and looks like it was transporting coal. The crash happened a few kilometres [outside]of Hectorspruit," he said.

The truck was transporting about 50 people, believed to be farm labourers, he said.

"You can smell blood. There are bodies everywhere. It's a very gruesome sight," a woman at the scene told local radio.

The government conveyed its condolences to the relatives of those killed in the crash.

"Government is deeply saddened by this incident. One death is one too many. Our prayers and thoughts are with families of the farm-workers," spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said.

Cabinet members commended emergency services for their quick response.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  railway crashes  |  accidents

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