Train crash victims 'torn to pieces'

2012-07-13 10:23

Johannesburg - More than 30 people were on Friday killed in South Africa when a train ploughed into a truck carrying dozens of farm workers on a railway line, an official said.

"What we know at this stage is that more than 30 people appear to have died at the point of impact," said Thulani Sibuyi, head of eastern Mpumalanga province's community safety department.

Victims had been "torn into pieces" and parademics were still on the scene near Malelane, east of the provincial capital Nelspruit, he said.

"It would appear as if the truck driver may have crossed the railway line without having a proper look-out and as a result the train hit him and then pulled him for about a kilometre to two kilometres," said Sibuyi.

"The bodies are lying all over the scene, people torn apart and so forth."

The exact numbers of dead and the many injured who had been taken to hospital still needed to be confirmed, he said.

The truck was transporting about 50 people to farms, he said.

Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • Xzaviera - 2012-07-13 10:38

    This is SO sad! May they rest in peace... *Badly written article though.

      Christelle - 2012-07-13 16:09

      Extremely badly written:-) But very sad - RIP. Our condolences to the families.

      trudi.stewart.joynt - 2012-07-13 22:03

      I agree with the badly written article. There should be an editor for this site. But yes so very sad for all these people and their families. Drivers of any vehicle should realise that they carry the responsibility of the lives they are transporting.

  • smahlaba - 2012-07-13 10:38

    Terrible story.

  • Smoke.ZN - 2012-07-13 10:39

    Rest in peace. May the families of these workers find the strength they need. Very sad news.

  • sasha.walters.31 - 2012-07-13 10:42

    I think the most upsetting thing is the sensationalism of the headline. 30 people are dead and the headline reads like a tagline from a B-grade Hollywood action film.

  • Jannie - 2012-07-13 10:43


  • julie.mellon.5 - 2012-07-13 10:44

    What the hell are people being carted around in the back of trucks for in this day and age? Fines are handed out for people not buckling up in a car, but this is allowed? Condolences to the families of the innocent people who lost their lives.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-13 12:17

      So if they had been in a bus there would have been a different outcome? Anyway, the taxi industry carts people around in closed vehicles all the time, and are responsible for most road deaths in this country. So I don't see your logic - and by the way, they are carted in trucks because it is free, and often there is no other option as the government does not provide enough public transport to accommodate peak harvest seasons, etc.

      julie.mellon.5 - 2012-07-13 13:31

      Farming is a business. I do not know if the loss of lives would have been fewer if the workers had been in a bus wearing seatbelts. My point was a Health and Safety one where an employer, by law, has a duty of care. As I said, farming is a business and as such, do you not think that a dialogue needs to be opened up with farmers and regional government representatives to address these issues?

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-13 18:03

      Yes Julie, a dialogue would help but this regime does not like talking to farmers - or anybody for that matter, about constructive solutions to anything. Only interested when political points are there to be scored.

  • sibiya.nqubeko - 2012-07-13 10:44

    How big/small is a train for you not to see it??? *pissed* Condolences to those involved both directly and indirectly. Sad, very sad...

  • previouslydisadvantaged.byapartheid - 2012-07-13 10:49

    no need to blame one man without all the prayers goes to all surving family members and all those injured wishing thema speedy recovery!

      Poloyatonki - 2012-07-13 11:28

      Its 2012 and we still have employers who put 50 people on a truck in winter. My heart goes out to the families.

      balan.morgen - 2012-07-13 11:50

      @poloyatonki, you are a ngolo-ngalodonkey - donkey's puss.

      kaspaas.breekwater - 2012-07-13 12:06

      braindead.byapartheid and donki - There is a good chance that the truck driver was not white - which does not make this racist at all.

  • jmareletse - 2012-07-13 10:49

    Dis is sad, all dis could hv been avoided..)-:

  • Gayle.Theunissen - 2012-07-13 10:50

    Why are people transported in this inhumane manner? I feel sick. Those poor families.

      afrikeni - 2012-07-13 11:07

      Even if it were a bus, will it made a difference?

  • - 2012-07-13 10:53

    shame,'s so hard to believe this.They are farmworkers,who will take care of their families now?i mean the little one?..I don't even know what to say coz I don't think prayers will heal the situation nw..Our father will know this.

  • angela.fritz.18 - 2012-07-13 10:59

    Again? Don't these drivers learn from other people's mistakes? Sad and shocking

  • annalene.nel - 2012-07-13 11:01

    And they still have not learned - never will I suppose !

  • - 2012-07-13 11:03

    First off I cannot get over the poor grammar of the first paragraph. Is this not proof-read first? It is a heck of an assumption that the truck driver did not look first. Maybe the truck stalled? Given the condition of most of these types of trucks that transport workers, it must be a high probability. Finally, condolences to the families of those killed and, a speedy and full recovery to those injured.

  • helmut.smrz - 2012-07-13 11:04

    Why does the Afrikaans news say 19 and News24 say 30 dead????

      abram.spamers - 2012-07-13 11:19

      Imagine you are a reporter arriving at a scene... you ask how the situation is... the paramedics reply "we have 19 confirmed dead already"... next reporter arrives an hour later and asks the same man the same question... now he answers "We have 19 corpses but there are enough body parts lying around that atleast another 11 must have died". As more information becomes available with time the picture tends to change. Just make sure you read the most up to date story.

  • Stille - 2012-07-13 11:04

    Once again : The government must enforce PROPER controlss on ALL railway crossings. Dont tell me there arent any funds, if ol d*ckhead spear can get a new jet, he can authorise the funds to ensure all railway crossings are properly guarded \ equipped to ensure idiots like this truckdriver cannot cross when a train is coming.

  • maylani.bezuidenhout - 2012-07-13 11:07

    So I guess there was no barrier up big red flashing lights saying 'train coming' - why do we still have these rail crossings? Or did he just drive around the barrier? Come on!! This is just senseless. And shame on you News 24 for the awful headline. Show some respect instead of always going for sensationalism

  • Chrisjan Jansen - 2012-07-13 11:08

    It is reAlly shocking how explicit your article is. Have some dignity and don't tell how the bodies are torn. Totally sensational !!

  • denzil.a.ferreira - 2012-07-13 11:11

    I can't understand how you don't hear or see a train coming... I mean it's a train... Also people who get run over by trains. You can hear it a few minutes before it's there...

      maylani.bezuidenhout - 2012-07-13 11:31

      It has to do with an inability to judge the speed of a moving object, especially from a distance. With pedestrains especially who don't drive they misjudge.

  • mathapelo.modiba - 2012-07-13 11:12

    A very sad story for a friday morning or should i say friday the 13th. May the souls lost rest in peace. We also hope for a speedy recovery to to who were injured.

  • ivan.frantz.3 - 2012-07-13 11:15

    What a bad and undignified headline, also a poor and unprofessional report. Who is the reporter and Editor. I give you minus ten out of ten for this article !!!

  • natasha.wentink - 2012-07-13 11:27

    Tragic... :(

  • eugene.henriques.9 - 2012-07-13 11:33

    How difficult is to look left and right for on coming traffic.Its not like there are trains coming from left and right as with motor vehicles at all times.Accidents do not happen,they are caused.

  • luka.mlukani - 2012-07-13 11:34

    Is a sad story and i wish speed recovery to those wh are injury

  • luka.mlukani - 2012-07-13 11:35

    Is a sad story and i wish speed recovery to those wh are injury

  • milton.msomi - 2012-07-13 11:37

    I wish malema was there.RIP

  • milton.msomi - 2012-07-13 11:39

    I wish malema was there.RIP

      jowza1 - 2012-07-13 12:03

      milton.karma can be a bitch

      mondli.botha - 2012-07-14 05:14

      Hah maar Miltonm hw can u wish a fellow human being this thing.

  • paseka.radebe1 - 2012-07-13 11:41

    conflict reports?

  • Dhavandran - 2012-07-13 11:47

    carelessness and not speed that kills. my condolences to the victims families.

  • smalefane - 2012-07-13 11:54

    This is the result of inequalities of the past. Poor black people are still being treated like animals by white farmers. As much as I dislike Malema, whites somehow make me understand what he is fighting for.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-07-13 12:10

      Smalefane, where did it state that these people worked for a white farmer?. Racism is clouding your reality and squeezing your brain.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-13 12:33

      Guess it would be kinder to let them walk? Is employing people treating them like animals, you must be a Cosatu member?

      sazi.radebe - 2012-07-13 13:37

      As always.....blaming in on apartheid. Wake up man!! I guess the train was racist?

      ron.wale.3 - 2012-07-13 15:56

      You bloody racists should get off this forum. We don't need racists in this country... we're over apartheid, or haven't you been told yet?

      smalefane - 2012-07-13 19:47

      @Chibuli. I am no racist. But this country is still as divided as it were before the advent of democracy. We are only fooling ourselves if we think otherwise. Besides, respect my freedom of expression. I did not insult anyone on this forum.

      harold.parsons.37 - 2012-07-13 19:57

      Smalefane please tell us what Malema is fighting for. We would ball like to know. Because at this point in time as far as I know he is fighting for his 1)political career. 2) to stay out of jail.3 to save the fortune that he stole.

      anton.coetzee.37 - 2012-07-16 18:17


  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-07-13 11:55

    Lets hope these deaths will be condemned and investigated with the same vigour as deaths on mines

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-13 12:34

      Would be nice if the 1000's of deaths caused by the taxi industry were also investigated.

  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2012-07-13 12:01

    Much condolances to all the victim's families may they find peace to all this recklessness. This is really hard to swallow I mean what is difficult to observe?

  • fhmarais - 2012-07-13 12:03

    What the hell is this: " kilometre "

  • james.freeborough.14 - 2012-07-13 12:05

    Look left and right and left and right again, how hard is it? 30 People dead because the 'driver' failed to perform this simple procedure...

  • kyle.buitendag - 2012-07-13 12:06


  • donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-07-13 12:14

    This is a sad case of 'familiarity breeds content'.I'm sure the driver made used of that same crossing on a daily basis same like Jacob Humphries,even on the cape flats the people who gets killed by trains are the ones who crosses the lines almost daily,they don't even notice the danger anymore,because crossing these lines have almost become second nature to them.

  • Estelle.Smit.Koekemoer - 2012-07-13 12:17

    Come on people. Do you always have to complain about everything. It was a horrendous accident and you want it sugar coated with flair for the English language. Its not a fairy tale where everybody lived happily ever after the girl kissed the frog. Its journalism under stressful conditions. People were ripped apart, mutilated, decapitated etc. How woulD you want it, people were delicately placed in various locations with some of them in more than on location. Don't stress, as there will be quite a few more angels in heaven. Wake up, live is hard. If you can't handle the way its written ask somebody to translate it into fairy language

      jowza1 - 2012-07-13 12:18

      thank you estelle

  • vanrooyend - 2012-07-13 12:23

    Poloyatonki Typical, I asume you were there and know the exact story. Get over your blaming the farmers, apartheid etc. Grow up and work towards a country acceptable for every hard working citizen. Back to the article, RIP to those who lost their lives and may the driver be charged for murder

      Poloyatonki - 2012-07-13 12:48

      How do you explain 50 people in a truck in this cold winter?

      vanrooyend - 2012-07-13 14:34

      Once again. Don't make assumptions. I cant explain, you cant explain so stop accusing without facts. Driver ignored railway crossing. Fact. Why 50 people on truck. Dont know. Have not seen pics of truck so dont know size of truck.

  • Millos Mpofu - 2012-07-13 12:26

    Ja!agree with SACP tender system must be abolished I am here to see the really course of the accident so the course is the truck brakes and the owner of this cane cutter contractor deserve a life sentence because of his carelessness

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-13 12:39

      I think before you condemn the oke, wait for more information. The driver could quite easily have stalled the truck, no more than that. Driver error, sorry, klaar. But lets wait a bit before deciding...

      Alonso - 2012-07-13 16:32

      I agree that all truck owners (& drivers) be criminally charged for the accidents caused by trucks on our roads. I mean its carnage out there!

  • Anakin - 2012-07-13 12:38

    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.

  • mtsweni.lucas - 2012-07-13 14:21

    what a terrible accident!!! may their soul rest in peace.

  • Alonso - 2012-07-13 16:34

    Very sad. My condolences to the families and best wishes to the train driver & co-driver who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

  • shamielmoh - 2012-07-13 23:04


  • aubrey.christie - 2012-07-14 09:26

    Your sensationalist reporting really stinks. Why dont you people get real.

  • matome.mpho - 2012-07-14 09:27

    May their soul rest in peace

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