8 April 2011

South Africa: One Dead, 200 Injured in Pretoria Train Accident

A train driver was killed and 200 people were injured when two Metrorail trains collided around 4pm between Akasiaboom and Winternest train stations in Pretoria.

"At this stage total of 200 people suffered injuries and were taken to various hospitals for treatment around Pretoria," Metrorail said in a statement.

"One train driver suffered fatal injuries."

The cause of the accident is still unknown, but Metrorail and emergency services as well the Rail Safety Regulator are on the scene investigating the accident.

"It is regrettable that this accident happened claiming one young life of our train driver and leaving so many injured loyal commuters," Metrorail said.

"We've taken great care to ensure that all the injured commuters received medical care as soon as possible. The railway line is closed for this afternoon until the accident scene is cleared. "

Alternative transport, buses, have been arranged for commuters.

Netcare911 paramedics said earlier that they had arrived at the scene to find that two fully laden passenger coaches had collided and derailed.

Two of the carriages overturned adjacent to the tracks.

"The man's body is trapped in the wreckage of a coach. Paramedics are tending to the injured, most of whom had clambered from the up ended coaches," said Netcare911 spokesman Jeff Wicks.

Some of the injured people were being taken to hospitals and clinics in the area. Eleven were seriously injured, said Wicks.

Paramedics had called for additional resources from outlying areas to assist in the transportation of the injured to various medical facilities.

The cause of the incident remained unclear and would form the subject of an internal and police investigation, he said.

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