Train cut truck full of people in half

2012-07-13 14:44

Johannesburg - A coal train that ploughed into a truck packed with farm workers at a level crossing in Mpumalanga chopped the truck in half, killing at least 19 people who were on their way to pick fruit, police and emergency services said.

Police spokesperson Joseph Mabusa said it appeared the truck driver had miscalculated when crossing the track, leaving his vehicle directly in the path of a freight train carrying coal to neighbouring Mozambique.

"It is a very gruesome scene. Some bodies are without heads and some without limbs. Forensic teams are still working on the scene," he said.

The impact carried the truck 200 metres down the track, dismembering its occupants and making it hard for forensic experts to say exactly how many people had been killed, he added.

Netcare911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said paramedics found the injured lying amongst the dead.

"The driver was taken to hospital. His condition is unknown," Mabusa said. Police are investigating and might lay culpable homicide charges.

At least 24 others were injured, some of them critically, in the accident near the town of Hectorspruit.

State rail operator Transnet said the train was carrying coal for export to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, but that there was no derailment.

"The truck was carrying 44 passengers ... and the police on the scene have confirmed that 19 people were fatally injured," it said in a statement.

  • sanda.mnyazi - 2012-07-13 14:57

    Sad indeed, may the souls of the deceased RIP.

  • jaco.pieterse.18 - 2012-07-13 14:59

    Ummm how can you miscalculate that , if you see a train you wait, won't be shocked if the truck driver doesn't have a valid license if he even has one at all. Lock him up is what I say

      Tim - 2012-11-26 09:06

      or tie him up around a pole and ask for volunteers all across SA to come give a warm klaap each for being so stupid and irresponsible. Really, how do you miscalculate that!!!! #frustrated.

  • manu.dibango.96 - 2012-07-13 15:04

    These deaths are so sad and needless. This should be a lesson to all of us. Don't play games with other people's lives. Excercise great caution when driving. This is especially so for drunk drivers and those who text or talk on the phone while driving. Respect the lives of others. That said why is it necessary to sensationalise this story? It's so disrespectful to the dead. Every story on this accident emphasises the amount of damage done to the bodies. "Torn to pieces, limbs taken off, heads taken off, ...". This is so unecessary. You should be reporting the story and not using the tragedy to spike sales and clicks. The media in this country leaves much to be desired.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 18:53

      Manu, for a merrier version of this gruesome event, go visit: I know reality bites, but perhaps we should be MORE aware that knocking your coffee over makes a stain on the carpet, but vehicles messing with trains, has a bit worse of an outcome.

  • Sewela Marcia Rapudubudu - 2012-07-13 15:06

    Shoo! What a horrible accident may their soul Rest In Peace

  • sobholenyoni.kasoshangani - 2012-07-13 15:11

    The driver must have been a mathematics student in one of Limpopo High Schools. Without textbooks, these miscalculations will kill loads of people

  • yvonnecraig.linton - 2012-07-13 15:12

    Why is news 24 disgusting? They are reporting as it is, the facts !! If you do not like it ,do not read it.

      manu.dibango.96 - 2012-07-13 15:28

      yvonne, all serious vehicular accidents result in damage to the human body, even dismemberment. This is pretty much known, and when a train is involved dismemberment is a given. Now most newspaper accident reports will read "driver and passenger were killed on impact." Out of respect for the dead and their families they won't go into the gory details. Would you like it if some reporter described an accident of a friend thus, "The accident was so violent that the driver was cut in half and his head was smashed beyond recognition. Witnesses at the scene described smelling blood in the air and how paramedics removed the body from the wreckage piece by piece." Imagine if all road accidents were reported like that.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-07-13 16:12

      @manu "The accident was so violent that the driver was cut in half and his head was smashed beyond recognition. Witnesses at the scene described smelling blood in the air and how paramedics removed the body from the wreckage piece by piece." that is a massive headline. Us humans are so protected by our emotions when in fact the truck was torn in half, i for one will never underestimate a level crossing from today out...

      manu.dibango.96 - 2012-07-13 16:53

      randomhero, I was giving a fictitious account of an accident and not a fictitious headline. FYI the objection is to the description of the dead. Have to say that it's troubling that you are only now taking level crossings seriously. Is this the first time that you have heard of an accident at a level crossing? Did you miss the story of those 10 children that were killed when their taxi was hit by a train?

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-13 18:57

      Manu, did you hear that subsequent to the accident, lots of birds were seen snacking on brains spread all around? Most welcome source of high-density fats and protein in winter-time.

  • linnette.dutoit - 2012-07-13 15:46

    Thank you manu

  • tim.yagan - 2012-07-13 15:47

    This is sad.

  • leah.p.lecheko - 2012-07-13 16:35

    Lives lost over someone's stupidity! Not sure if I should angry at the truck because what's done is done and his fighting for his life in hospital! This is too sad...

  • koenacedrick - 2012-07-13 16:49

    Somebody has to answer to this.

  • natty.mahlangu - 2012-07-13 18:30

    M glad the driver is ilive... So he'll b able to face he's evil deeds....

  • emiel.vandenhoute - 2012-07-13 18:52

    For a year up until last year when I gave up, I tried to sell a low cost simple operation (and low theft value) highly reliable level crossing mechanism, closing barriers on train approach. It's a system used all over Europe even for semi-high speed trains. Transnet (Freightrail) did not see the need for this ...

      Rob Martin - 2013-08-02 16:35

      Its not their idea... cannot upstage the fools.

  • Andrea.XO.Taylor - 2012-07-22 23:30

    The driver 'may' be charged with culpable homicide hmmmmm...let's think about this

  • Rob Martin - 2013-08-02 16:33

    What idiot wrote that headline.

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