8 January 2018

Botswana: Three Die in Train Crash

Serowe — Three people died in an accident, which occurred along B152 Martins Drift road, when a mini-bus crashed into a passenger train at a level crossing Sunday (January 7) at midnight.

Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Kitso Mokaila said in an interview that three people; a boy, girl and an adult male driver, were certified dead on arrival at Palapye Primary Hospital while five sustained major injuries and were sent on referral to Nyangabwe Hospital in Francistown.

He said the four who sustained minor injuries were treated and helping with the investigations.

Mr Mokaila said all passengers in the mini-bus, including the driver were of Zimbabwean origin, and were on transit from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

"We have those who are under life threatening condition, as the mini-bus hit a luggage coach. We realised that there is a curve which most drivers approach at high speed," he said.

Mr Mokaila said they have taken a decision to erect speed humps at the site to reduce speeding.

"We will then do the same to other level crossings where we deem essential," he said.

He pleaded with the Batswana to note that, Botswana Railways had no desire for its trains to be involved in accidents, and cautioned drivers to take full responsibility on the road and always give the train preference.

He said those who were on the train managed to reach their destination after switching trains.

"As there were two passenger trains, one from Gaborone to Francistown and the other from Francistown to Gaborone, our passengers had to switch coaches and were able to reach their destination, no one has been affected in our passenger train," he said.

For his part, Assistant Commissioner, Divisional Traffic Officer, Palapye Police Station, Pelontle Kesupile noted that so far they have not established what might have caused the accident.

He said it was not the first time for such an accident to occur in the area, noting that last year, a similar accident took place when a truck collided with the train, consequently taking the life of the truck driver.

Mr Kesupile however noted that there was need to sensitise drivers on the need to approach level crossings with caution.

"Drivers need to be aware of the Maunatlala-Martins Drift level crossing and always give priority to the train and also adhere to traffic signs," he stated.

Source : BOPA

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