Wear and tear blamed for derailing

2013-09-04 00:00

THERE is no indication of sabotage, but it’s rather a case of wear and tear that led to a goods train derailing at Banana Beach on the South Coast on Monday, Transnet confirmed.

Luck was definitely on the side of a train driver and his assistant when they both escaped unharmed.

The train, which usually transports coal, was empty when the driver apparently “hit something”, causing three carriages to plummet into the lagoon, said a source.

Transnet spokesperson Selby Dlamini said there was a piece of steel protruding from the track. “The lines are inspected every week, but things like this are easy to miss. There is no indication of sabotage and it’s just the regular wear and tear of the line,” said Dlamini.

He said the line had been closed and is expected to open again tomorrow.

“Staff are working flat out. The carriages will be removed from the lagoon, and the line will be repaired,” he said.

The diesel that spilled from the train stayed on the track and did not drain into the lagoon, he said.

Maggie Howell, who works close by, said: “I heard a huge crash. I can’t even explain how loud it was, but I actually thought a plane had crashed … all I saw was a huge cloud of dust.”

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