Government 'sad' about train crash

2011-05-20 14:18

Johannesburg - Government expressed "great sadness" on Friday after more than 600 people were injured in a train crash in Soweto, Johannesburg.

"We wish commuters injured in the accident a speedy recovery and express our gratitude to the Johannesburg Emergency Services for their quick response in assisting the injured," said government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi in a statement.

"The South African government learned with great sadness about the injury of hundreds of train commuters," he said.

Some 644 people were injured in the crash on Thursday, when two trains collided in Meadowlands. Two people were critically injured.

The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) said the accident showed that South Africa's "under-funded commuter services are becoming rail versions of Russian Roulette".

"Given the faulty equipment with which they have to function - and the long hours many are made to work - South African train drivers are doing a heroic job in saving as many lives as they do," said Utatu general secretary Chris de Vos.

"Laying the blame for train smashes on train drivers is like forcing an over-tired motorist to drive without the aid of efficient brakes or traffic lights and then blaming him when things go wrong."

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) was investigating the accident.

"A team of the RSR's inspectors were at the scene following the collision which took place at approximately 5:50pm [17:50]... An investigation into what led to the collision is underway," spokesperson Lavinia Engelbrecht said in a statement on Friday.

  • MetEishYa - 2011-05-20 14:33

    That makes 3 passenger train accidents in how many months? Johannesburg, Pretoria & Springs) Decaying infrastructure and, and .........

      Coin - 2011-05-20 14:56

      but vote for the ANC they will...

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:25

      @apie.if you remember a plane went down killing hundreds when the whites were in power.what do you put that down to?

      Lekabisto - 2011-05-20 15:32

      My sentiments exactly, get people who are not qualified to do a and you will get accidents like this happening every second months. I would understand if this was accidents from different train operator companies, however this is coming from the same company month in a month out when we should actually be reading about this types of accidents decades apart, even then it should still be questionable! Way to go ANC!flip I HATE this clowns!

      Palian - 2011-05-20 17:54

      2jowza: Q - if you remember a plane went down killing hundreds when the whites were in power.what do you put that down to? A - Laws that ensured that the monkey who passed his aircraft maintainance engineering exam with a 31% average got aa appointed.

      Mundu - 2011-05-20 19:47

      Yep...and they keep voting these ANCretins in. You can't fix stupid.

  • system.reset1 - 2011-05-20 14:34

    The majority chose to vote for them, now they have to live with them.

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:25

      yes we are happy to live and vote for them

      The All Seeing Eye - 2011-05-20 15:41

      @Jowza LOL live with it? I doubt it not with train crashes like ths.

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:48 what you saying.train crashes happen only here?

      lulu - 2011-05-20 20:02

      yes i wil vote for them im till peoples like you change your smelling attitude in south africa

  • Daemos1 - 2011-05-20 14:36

    quiickly...someone blame the ANC

      apie - 2011-05-20 14:43

      I blame the anc.

      Bill - 2011-05-20 14:48

      Don't be silly!..... It's apartheid's fault!

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:26

      @bill.looking at your avatar,you are apartheits fault

      HowardX - 2011-05-20 15:40

      Well, there was a former railways worker on 702 radio this morning saying that the train drivers are hopelessly unqualified. He said that there final qualification is now multiple choice and most of them arrive with the answers on a cheat sheet. He seemed believable. And that, my friends, would be a direct result of the ANC's policies of mediocrity and race based job assignment.

  • Rastus - 2011-05-20 14:39

    Sorry about the accident - but ironically - watch what you say about the Big Boss and His Trio! and your traincestors!

  • apie - 2011-05-20 14:42

    Give us the name of the train driver.

      watalife - 2011-05-20 14:53

      Sy naam was Nag aapie...

  • watalife - 2011-05-20 14:43

    Not surprised at all. From donkey cart to dik wiel bicycle then onto train? Eish its not working....

      Barry - 2011-05-20 15:04

      Next will be our planes Can you imagine the catastrophe HHHHHHOOOOOO

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:31

      are you talking about the afrikaners?

  • SA Guru - 2011-05-20 14:53

    Morons, stop blaming A N C for everything.

      Grayman - 2011-05-20 17:54

      Why not SA Guru? The ANC were handed a very good rail system, a tremendous electricity grid, adequate water reticulation and a world standard road network. What did they do with it ... reactive maintenance if anything at all. So when they crow about winning the elections and being in 'control' then they must also take the responsibility that goes with it.

      mabsie - 2011-05-21 16:05

      They can start with IMPECCABLE service delivery into ALL areas.

      Henry - 2011-05-22 11:46

      The anc is the government I think. They must take responsibility.

  • Zion - 2011-05-20 14:55

    If the equipment is faulty and the driver is aware thereof and the relevant union is aware thereof too then surely the drivers could have the right to refuse to drive and backed up by the unions. From a strictly legal point the driver is legally forced not to drive.

  • Barry - 2011-05-20 15:02

    Sad ?????? What is that supposed to mean ?

  • Janine - 2011-05-20 15:03

    It's a miracle that only 2 people were critically injured. I hope that there is a full enquiry into what went wrong and that the results are published.

      watalife - 2011-05-20 15:06

      Lets face it that will never happen. Do you think the unions will allow it? They are political and have never acted in the right capacity.

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:28

      chancers are the driver belongs to solidarity union

  • PikeLee - 2011-05-20 15:05

    well, lets be honest guys. There have been a couple of similar accidents in Europe as well... 3 in 3 months is terrible though.

  • PikeLee - 2011-05-20 15:07

    funny our government has developed feelings all of a sudden. tears for no toilets, sad for the train accident. Whats next, sudden guilt for all the murdered farmers?

  • WanitaFisher - 2011-05-20 15:18

    what crap - government doesn't give a #$%^!

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:27

      is it?

  • mamakalami - 2011-05-20 15:18

    They should be sad about not having enough trains thus the overloading, especially at rush hour. The number of injuries would not have been so extensive. It is shameful how the lack of consideration for public transportation users in this country is so rife.

      semaj - 2011-05-20 15:28

      From the pics on the internet it does not seem to me that the "Business Express" trains that apparently collided carried the normal load of "hangers-on". Imagine if they had been the usual 8-plus carriages each with 300 hanging out of the doors or riding between the carriages.

      tryanything - 2011-05-20 15:28

      Well stop burning them for a start

      mabsie - 2011-05-21 16:03

      They will have to have a "world class" service before I consider using public transport.

  • HowardX - 2011-05-20 15:41

    Government by sadness. How useful. How about maintaining standards rather than being sad about it?

  • The All Seeing Eye - 2011-05-20 15:42

    Sad is what I am when I miss my favorite TV show.

      jowza - 2011-05-20 15:50

      they repo your tv?

  • pompie1 - 2011-05-20 16:16

    Incompetence. Ms Cannon of Lohatla comes to mind.

  • fbyr - 2011-05-20 18:32

    If it was the equipment and fatigue then why are the drivers not on strike? Disgusting union trying to cash in on this tragedy.

  • colinw - 2011-05-20 20:25

    and just who foistered the bad managers responsible for the current rail operations ?

  • 50something - 2011-05-20 21:36

    The government was "sad"... - I guess if this happened a week ago, the media would have been full of politicians visiting the injured in the hospitals, but now they have got their vote, so it is not so important any more ...

      mabsie - 2011-05-21 16:02

      Good comment.

  • Krolie - 2011-05-20 22:02

    "The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) said the accident showed that South Africa's "under-funded commuter services are becoming rail versions of Russian Roulette". Yeah, another lack of service delivery. One would think that JZ, as the president of this country, would have at least addressed the media personally instead of having someone doing it for him. All those people on the trains most probably voted for him/the ANC! In Afrikaans they say "stank vir dank"! The final count has not even been done, and we are faced with another service delivery f@*"£%p!

  • GrannyC - 2011-05-21 00:53

    Vote ANC - I don't think so. They keep employing incompetent, illiterate, unqualified people and this is what you get.

  • Charlie - 2011-05-21 07:08

    Yes, I knew they would again blame the faulty and obselete equipment for the train crash. Hello,use "unqualified, unexperienced personel" as an excuse next time please. Stop trying to cover up your mess.

  • frankow3 - 2011-05-21 14:29

    Put a baboon behind the controls, see the result!

  • amabok - 2011-05-21 14:57

    Government saddened but not particularly concerned.

  • mabsie - 2011-05-21 16:01

    Sad? How about devastated???? Unqualified drivers. They not only destroy lives but also they have to live with the knowledge they caused such destruction.

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