KROONSTAD TRAIN CRASH:
...Sanco calls for action against truck driver after deadly train crash
CAPE TOWN - The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) has expressed its sadness at the‘ shocking deaths’ in Thursday morning’ s collision train accident in Kroonstad which claimed the lives of at least 18 people.
The accident occurred at the Geneva level crossing between Hennenman and Kroonstad. The train had been travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg.
“Rail level crossings collisions reflect fatal statistics which point to a crisis and by their nature require drastic action, and the raising of the collective consciousness of the greatest number of people possible,” said SAN CO spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu.
Mahlangu conveyed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the crash.
He expressed concern that almost all level crossing accidents were as a result of motorists failing to stop at clearly demarcated stop signs at level crossings.
“Trains take more time to stop, even when the driver applies brakes. A loaded train can take more than a kilometre to stop,” he pointed out.
Mahlangu said that global police figures show that up to 95 per cent of crashes at railway crossings are caused by driver error which is largely attributable to driver distraction, risk-taking, disobeying and a lack of knowledge of the road rules and sometimes suicide.
He urged Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) to robustly engage communities in assisting with the eradication of tragic and unnecessary incidents by obeying all traffic laws governing rail level crossings at all times.
The civic organisation called for tough action against the truck driver who is alleged to have crossed the railway line without stopping, causing the crash.
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) acting CEO Mthuthuzeli Swartz confirmed on Thursday that the death toll stood at 18. He referred to the accident as one of the saddest incidents in the history of Metrorail. “We want to assure that we will be taking every necessary steps to assure that the safe services that we have been rendering continue.
SHOCKING DEATHS: The collision train accident in Kroonstad which claimed the lives of at least 18 people.