One person was killed and more than two hundred others injured when two trains collided at Denver railway station in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.
According to the Chief executive officer for Prasa Rail Mosenngwa Mofi, a guard whose job was to signal the trains, was killed in the accident, which almost claimed the life of another woman who had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. According to eyewitness’ accounts, one train, a yellow Metrorail train, was waiting to leave the station when the second train, a Business Express Metrorail, hit it from behind. The witnesses also contend that the Business Express was speeding. “It hit the yellow Metrorail waiting to leave from the back. The yellow train derailed. Both trains were coming from Pretoria,” said witnesses Andani and Mahalatsi, who would not reveal their surnames. At least two of the yellow train’s carriages derailed and one of them crushed into a nearby building which led to the injury of dozens of passengers.
ER spokesman, Russell Meiring confirmed to members of the media that members of the paramedics team had rescued a woman, who had been trapped between the train and a wall and that they had airlifted her to a nearby hospital. He added that other patients had been moved to a nearby platform where they were treated, after which they were ferried to nearby hospitals. “ER24 paramedics, along with various services, arrived on the scene and found the wrecked trains blocking the tracks completely. Bent metal and parts of the train had been spread across the scene,” he added.
Gauteng Metrorail spokeswoman Lillian Mofokeng confirmed that there would be investigations into the cause of the accident, adding that there was, as yet, no official word on what could have led to such a horrific crash. Her statement was reiterated by her counterpart at Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Lesedi Mapheto, who said that he could not confirm that faulty signals had caused the accident as this would be preempting the investigation that would be carried out into the matter.