Train-truck collision claims lives of 24 people

By The Editor | Fri, Jul 13th, 2012

Photo: The Telegraph

At least 24 farm workers died on Friday morning when a truck transporting them to work collided with a train in Malelane, Mpumalanga.

Although the cause of the accident is still confirmed, it is believed that the truck driver failed to stop at a level crossing, resulting in the truck colliding with a high speed coal train. 

Eyewitnesses say that the train hooted twice to warn the truck driver that the train was too close. Unfortunately, he still attempted to quickly cross the railway, and the collision ensued. It is reported that the truck was split into two by the impact.

Provincial community safety department spokesman Joseph Mabuza said the train dragged the truck for at least 200 metres, leaving bodies with limbs missing scattered on the ground and under the train.

There were about 49 passengers on the truck. Shortly after the collision, 19 people were confirmed dead at the scene.  At the time of this writing, the death toll had risen to 24. Three people died in hospital while two others died on their there.

The driver of the truck survived. He is currently under detention at Malelane police station. He is expected to face charges of culpable homicide.


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