Inquiry to look into Kroonstad train crash

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A board of inquiry will be established to investigate the causes of the collision involving a train and a truck in Free State, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) said on Wednesday.

RSR chairperson Dr Nomisa Qunta said that preliminary investigations revealed that the Shosholoza Meyl train was travelling below the speed limit at the time of impact near Kroonstad last Thursday.

She also revealed that the driver of the truck tested negative for alcohol in his bloodstream.

Qunta was speaking at a media briefing on the preliminary findings of the RSR’s investigations into another level crossing accident and collision between two Metrorail trains in Germiston on Tuesday.

More than 200 people were injured in the accident, which was blamed on human error.

Meanwhile the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has called on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to conduct a rail infrastructure safety audit to ensure the safety of commuters.

“The train collision in Germiston yesterday, which followed closely upon the horror accident in Kroonstad last week, must set alarm bells ringing at Prasa that the safety of our rail infrastructure networks are simply abysmal,” IFP spokesperson on transport, Khethamabala Sithole, said.

“The regularity with which these incidents occur points to serious flaws within the Prasa rail infrastructure network and a full safety audit of the infrastructure should be conducted and corrective action, where necessary, instituted,” he added.

The RSR preliminary report states that the Kroonstad collision resulted in 19 passenger fatalities and 260 injuries to passengers, crew and staff. A case of culpable homicide was opened shortly after the accident occured.


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