Elands­fontein train crash ‘due to de­fects’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

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.

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