Multiple deaths as train crashes into truck

2012-07-13 09:35

Cape Town - A train crashed into a truck carrying farmworkers on Friday morning, killing at least 19 people in Mpumalanga.

Other reports say about 30 people could have been killed.

Netcare911’s Jeff Wicks told News24 the truck was at a level crossing between Hectorspruit and Malalane when the train smashed into it.

ENews stated about 30 people were dead. Wicks said that, as yet, Netcare911 paramedics can confirm 19 killed and 24 injured.

ER24’s André Visser said he would not give a figure on the number of fatalities or injuries but did tell News24 that paramedics arrived to a “chaotic scene” in an isolated area.

The farmworkers were fruit-pickers being taken to work.

More to follow.

Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-07-13 09:40

    Farm owner are making millions but their workers get cramped into a truck.

      Billy - 2012-07-13 09:42

      your anc is taking billions but the voters still live in poverty

      Annelise - 2012-07-13 09:44

      This is TRAGEDY, don't politicize this!!!

      Lulama - 2012-07-13 09:45

      Hectic may their soles rest in peace

      Lulama - 2012-07-13 09:46

      @ Billy this has got nothing to do with ANC

      Bryan - 2012-07-13 09:47

      Polony you are a complete W*nker!!!

      Konapi - 2012-07-13 09:47

      Poloyatonki, I dont think the farm owner has anything to do with the accidents. This is definitely a ignorance from the truck driver. Plz leave the producer/farmer alone.

      cobus.beukes - 2012-07-13 09:51

      What is wrong with you?????

      johan.vandyk.98 - 2012-07-13 09:54

      Ya, typical. Blame the farmer. Why did the drivernot stopped at the crossing? Or did he thought the train was not running? That is what happens when you do not look where you are going.....unfortunate and very, very sad that innocent people have to die because one person (the driver)do not care.

      Billy - 2012-07-13 09:56

      annelise, you are right, didnt mean bad just wanted to chirp, sorry if i offended

      E=MC2 - 2012-07-13 09:56

      Ag please poliodonkey! Troll

      Poloyatonki - 2012-07-13 10:08

      Why are they transported to the farm instead of the employer building houses for them to stay on the farm, I am sure he can afford.

      tom.vorster - 2012-07-13 10:16

      @ Polioplonker - and you know for a fact that they dont live on the farm!

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-13 10:17

      @ bennie.kruger.5 It was a fruit farm

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-13 10:20

      @ Poloyatonki - You are living proof of the disfunctional education in sa. You must have come top of your class with distingions

      Poloyatonki - 2012-07-13 10:27

      I agree Duma, and they make millions farm owners.

      zambezi.river - 2012-07-13 10:36


      don.quioxte.3 - 2012-07-13 10:36

      FO for Go. and A for Away

      ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-13 10:45

      Polio - The farmer owes his workers wages only.Your f-up gov can give them RDP houses. You'll also probably find the truck driver bought his license from a anc deployee at the licensing dep.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-07-13 10:53

      Poloy, your thinking is not rational, where does it say Farmers or any other business owner's are responsible for building houses for their employee's, wait for the facts to be revealed before jumping to conclusions and blaming the farm owner you racist

      thea.vandeventer - 2012-07-13 11:47

      So why do the workers not buy their own farm and farm...o,ja...after 3 months there will be nothing left...people like you should leave this country!!!!!

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-07-13 14:32

      What a terrible tragedy! Do you know why these level crossing country wide are not safeguarded by booms? It is because booms are like copper wire and are stolen too often particularly in remote areas and it has become too expensive to replace them.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-07-13 09:42

    Shocking news. Friday 13th

  • magriet.buys - 2012-07-13 09:44

    This is so sad :-(

      jowza1 - 2012-07-13 10:12

      yes.condolences to all the families

  • tom.vorster - 2012-07-13 09:44

    Polioplonker - and how would have been any different if the people were killed when the train hit the luxury bus they were travelling. This is a massive tragedy but you in your usual style and without any facts blame the farm owner.

      Willie - 2012-07-13 10:48

      @Poloyatonki ---Taxis are killing black people everyday,what is your problem and no one is saying anything including ANC

  • smiley.langa - 2012-07-13 09:47

    Simple Questions, How big was the truck that it packed +/- 30 people in it? and why didn't the farm workers jump out when the train smashed into them...

      clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-13 10:00

      ROFL! You must be kidding me! How old are you???

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-07-13 15:04

      How about why did the train driver not sound the horn or was the truck mechanically roadworthy? Those poor families and believe me the train driver as well will need trauma counselling for ages. If the driver was unfamliar with the area it is possible there was no roadwarning sign either if it was in a remote area or that the road sign had been stolen or rotted away or covered by trees. The truck driver may be a service provider who is not connected to the farmer at all other than when the farmer pays for his services. let's wait for some answers before we blame anyone. Considering how many unguarded level crossing there are around the country it is surprising there are not more accidents of this nature and when one compares it to taxi's and buses esp taxi's the high number of fatalities in this awful tragedy is a common occurence in taxi's so why haven't the govt done something about taxi drivers?

  • shaun.fuchs.9 - 2012-07-13 09:51

    Terrible news, but why was the truck on the train level crossing directly in the path of oncoming trains? Perhaps the truck had a problem and got stuck - time will tell

      Billy - 2012-07-13 09:57

      yea, thats what i thought, could the train not see the truck either? or was there no driver, what?

      lorrainesuh - 2012-07-13 10:13

      Tragic. My question exactly, what was the truck doing at a level crossing in the first place? - 2012-07-13 10:14

      @Billy ....... do you know how long it takes for a fully laden train to stop. The locomotive alone weighs in the region of 80 tons. I dare you to try and stop it within 10 meters, let alone 500 meters.

      Billy - 2012-07-13 11:39

      yea clifford no kidding, i would expect the train to use its horn or something if it saw the truck, dont you think. anyway, this is irrelevant, its the drivers fault for not stopping at the rail crossing, just heard on the news.

  • jamesyboi78 - 2012-07-13 09:57

    yoh thats heavy...

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-07-13 10:08

    Very sad. Farmworkers are stacked up like sardines into old-ish trucks in this accident waiting to happen. It is illegal in itself to load people at the back of an open truck/bakkie. I suspect an unroadworthy truck is involved.

  • Sharon - 2012-07-13 10:10

    Its a tragedy, Children have lost their parents, parents have lost their children. The count so far is 20 dead and 50 Injured. We are hearing that the driver did not have a licence, but this is yet to be confirmed. The vehicle is not owned by the farmer, it is subcontracted workers and vehicles, dont know who the subcontractor is as yet.

      Happyness - 2012-07-13 11:24

      If that is indeed, the families must seek compensation from the transport company for hiring an unlicenced person to transport people, and the driver himself must go to jail for this. No excuses.

  • Cliff - 2012-07-13 10:11

    I live 20klm away from this crash site. There are plenty of farms between the crocodile river and the railway with lots of roads crossing over the line. to me this is driver error

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-07-13 10:17

    Ai. Human error at it's worst.

  • Ettiene - 2012-07-13 10:20

    Maybe Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th for those who does not know) was dribing the truck?????

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-07-13 10:35

    So very sad. One stupid driver = so much misery.

  • sanele.molula - 2012-07-13 10:37

    WTF why is this article associated with Cape Town??????????

  • moira362 - 2012-07-13 11:08

    This is bad news! ai! sad, depressing, OMG! may their souls rest in peace. :(

  • maurcia.fraser - 2012-07-13 11:51

    @Poloyatonki.... You are obviously an uneducated fool for thinking that all farmers are millionaires! Do yourself a favor and open your eyes! Without farmers would you have meat, vegetables, fruit and all the stuff that requires 24/7 maintenance???? Please be advised that farmers are the ones who provide many job opportunities in this country. Don't you think that farmers avoid having their staff reside on farms due to so many of them trying to claim their land??? It is actually very generous of the farmer to provide his staff with transport. It is not in the labour law that employers have to provide transport for workers of any field to get to work and back! While I am educating you, please remember that some farms are thousands of acres and that this farmer is possibly providing them with accommodation, but have to be transported to get from one end to the other. In the end of the day this is a tragic accident. You don't know the farmer, the driver or any of the dearly departed, so shut up and keep your useless 2 cents worth to yourself!

  • KavishVather - 2012-07-13 13:13

    What the hell was the truck doing on the track??? Unless trains go off-road for a bit of fun or something? Pathetic wording.

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-07-13 14:50

    Poloyatonki Lekwebe. Farmers do not build houses for seasonal workers. Friut is picked at certain times of the year only and the rest of the year the fruit pickers move on or go home or whatever. Also for your information, farmers are consumers just like you or I. They buy the trucks, they pay wages, they have families to feed and clothe and educate and pay medical costs for just like the man in the street. In addition to that they have to pay hectic fuel bills to go anywhere and they also have to carry insurance because many of them are living on bank loans which pay for the tractors and equipment required to farm on a commercial scale. They have quotas they have to meet and when they exceed those quota's they get next to nothing for whatever they are farming. Disease and droughts and floods and fire have to be planned for so that permanent staff who live in houses possibly built by the farmers or the workers themselves don't have to be laid off in times of disasters which are not of their making. In addition to that the govt taxes them heavily and there are bank charges and rules they have to abide by. The only thing which they benefit from is what they actually produce in the form of milk or fruit and vegetables for the mass market - Pick'n'Pay and so on. In some cases they have to build faarm school for workers children and contribute to the teacher's salary. In the good years any extra money they may make and not need is carefully saved for disasters ahead.

  • jacob.molife - 2012-07-13 20:25

    Poloyatonki you sufferin from a severe headache. The doctor recommends u stop commenting forthwith !!!

  • elmwick.bez - 2012-07-17 13:09

    @ Poloyatonki and all the other racists out there. Get the facts right before you start playing the race card. Yes the farmer is white, but the passengers weren't employed by him. They were working for a black contractor who's black driver was driving the truck. There have also been reports that the person driving the truck was actually the driver's assistant who should not have been driving in the first place! This is a tragedy and should not be used to score cheap political points.

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