Clean-up at site of horror train smash continues as death toll rises to 19

06 January 2018 - 11:09 By Timeslive
The Shosholoza Meyl train after hitting two other vehicles.
The Shosholoza Meyl train after hitting two other vehicles.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Rail agency Prasa says it expects to have the site of Thursday’s horror train accident near Kroonstad in the Free State cleared by the end of Saturday and the full rail service activated by Monday.

Meanwhile‚ the death toll in the crash‚ which occurred when a long-distance train en route from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg collided with a truck at a level crossing‚ has risen to 19.

According to Prasa‚ of the 164 injured passengers hospitalised‚ only two still remain in hospital.

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) will release its preliminary findings into the accident on Monday.

Prasa said on Friday evening that the clean-up operation at the site of the accident was still under way.

“The rest of the coaches and the wreckage have been cleared with only 1 locomotive and 4 coaches still on the ground‚” it said.

The Department of Transport and Prasa have jointly established a walk-in and call centre to assist all those affected by the accident. The call centre number is already operational at (011) 013 – 0067 and will be operational 24 hours a day. The walk-in centre will be operational from 8am on Monday will also be operational 24 hours a day‚ Prasa said.

The walk-in centre will be operated by the Department of Transport‚ the Road Traffic Management Services and the Rail Safety Regulator at Prasa’s Umjantshi House in Braamfontein‚ Johannesburg‚ next to Park Station.