Damn­ing re­port into train col­li­sion

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

“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.”

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