Kroonstad train crash: Condition of bodies causes uncertainty over death toll

2018-01-05 09:16
(Image via Twitter)

(Image via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Uncertainty over the death toll in the Kroonstad train crash is probably due to the state of some of the bodies of the victims, the Free State Health Department said on Friday – affirming that the death toll currently stood at 14.

"Some bodies are burnt beyond recognition. The limbs were separated," spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said.

He explained that while paramedics had a particular way of counting bodies, which had established the toll of 14; others might have counted body parts like a skull and leg bones separately, leading to the figure of 18 dead that had been reported.

Read more: Death toll in Free State train crash rises

The figure of 14 victims was provided by the head of paramedic services in the province.

Mvambi said that search, rescue and recovery operations at the site resumed on Friday morning after heavy-duty equipment was delivered. The equipment will now allow the teams to cut into carriages that had been burnt out.

Mvambi said that while "we really hope it doesn't go up", there was a possibility that further victims might be discovered in these previously inaccessibly parts of the train.

Many of the 180 people reported as injured had already been discharged from various hospitals in the area, and others were able to make contact with their families.

Updates from the scene, as well as hospitals, would be provided during the day.

At about 09:00 on Thursday, sections of a passenger train, travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, burst into flames after the train collided with a truck and a car.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi was quoted on eNCA as saying the truck driver, who collided with the train, "was taking chances".

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  accidents

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