Elandsfontein train crash ‘due to defects’
METRORAIL maintains that last week’s Elandsfontein train crash was a result of cable theft, despite the Railway Safety Regulator’s (RSR) report attributing the crash to deficiencies in safety measures.
According to the report released on Tuesday, the collision was caused by “an abnormal working process littered with numerous poor safety defences”.
Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng yesterday told The Star that owing to cable theft at the station, which had occurred at an earlier stage, the trains were controlled manually.
This is after the train service provider’s provincial acting manager, Goodman Matampi, said the trains were being manually authorised between Olifantsfontein and Elandsfontein, owing to the theft of signalling power cables.
Mofokeng said: “At the time of the accident, trains were controlled/authorised manually due to cable theft in the area.
“This is the basis of the comment that cable theft is one of the many contributing factors that could have led to the collision.”
She added that an internal inquiry had been instituted to look into the collision.
“There is an internal board of inquiry that is under way to get to the details of all contributory aspects… of the Elandsfontein train collision.
“Metrorail will not pre-empt the findings by the board of inquiry at this stage.”
Last week, one person was killed and 102 injured when two trains collided at the Elandsfontein station.
The RSR said the train control officer on duty allowed two trains into the same section and accused Metrorail personnel of failing to observe and implement proper protocol.
The regulator has since barred Metrorail from manually operating trains under abnormal conditions in Gauteng.
The scene of the accident in Elandsfontein in Ekurhuleni.