Forensics teams working with families to identify train crash victims

2018-01-09 16:43
The Shosholaza Meyl passenger train that ploughed into a truck after the driver drove his vehicle onto the railway crossing near the Geneva station between Hennenman and Kroonstad. (Alet van der Walt, Netwerk24)

The Shosholaza Meyl passenger train that ploughed into a truck after the driver drove his vehicle onto the railway crossing near the Geneva station between Hennenman and Kroonstad. (Alet van der Walt, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Free State – Forensic pathology teams are working hard to get DNA samples from family members of those who died in the Kroonstad train crash, in an effort to identify bodies at mortuaries.

The deadly collision happened on Thursday between a Shosholoza Meyl passenger train, a truck carrying a trailer and a car. It resulted in the death of more than 19 commuters and caused a huge fire which left several people injured.

Free State health department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi could not confirm how many families had identified loved ones.

"Identification is a final product of the DNA. DNA samples are taken from families and will be [compared] to the bodies by the forensic pathologists to see if they match. So far, we have not heard of the work of testing and comparison being done. We will get the outcome from the teams," he said.

READ: Kroonstad train crash: 'Screams echoed from the carriages'

Mvambi told News24 that the death toll was still 19, but added that more body parts were being found at the scene of the accident.

"We will get any developments from the finalised work of the forensic pathologists. We hear that there are more body parts that they are getting from the scene and that is not necessarily new bodies but could be body parts from people that have already been picked up from the scene last week," he said.

Meanwhile, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) said it would release its preliminary findings into the accident at a press briefing on Wednesday morning. 

In a statement, RSR spokesperson Madelein Williams said the organisation believes the accident was caused by a collision between a truck and a Shosholoza Meyl train. 

Williams said the accident occurred at the Geneva level crossing which has "advanced" warning signs and a stop sign present.

The railway itself is furthermore equipped with whistle boards on either side of the level crossing, she said. 

"The RSR is, therefore, of the view that the level of protection is in line with requirements."

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said previously that the collision was caused because the truck driver was "taking chances".

No arrests have been made yet and a police investigation is pending.

Read more on:    prasa  |  joe maswanganyi  |  bloemfontein  |  accidents

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.