Damning report into train collision
“AN ABNORMAL working process littered with numerous poor safety checks” was among the factors that caused the Elandsfontein train collision, a preliminary report into the accident has found.
The report, by the Railway Safety Regulator, was released yesterday. This comes after Metrorail last week blamed cable theft for a train crash that resulted in the death of one man and left 102 passengers injured.
“The train control officer authorised two trains into same section of track at the same time,” said regulator spokesperson Madelein Williams. She said the report indicated that the train control personnel on duty failed to observe and implement the requirements of abnormal working, as stipulated in train working rules.
“Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of SA) Elandsfontein train control personnel embarked on an abnormal working process littered with numerous poor safety defences or uncontrolled risks, routine violations and lacking several key safety procedures,” Williams said. “The handover between the night and day shift TCOs (transportation co-ordinators) was not done properly.”
Last week, Gauteng Metrorail acting provincial manager Goodman Matampi said that at the time of the accident, the trains were being manually authorised between Olifantsfontein and Elandsfontein due to theft of signalling power cables.
Matampi said commuter rail services had been targeted by thieves. “The root cause of the collision is cable theft.”