South Africa Train Crash Injures Hundreds Outside Johannesburg

South Africa Train Crash Injures Hundreds Outside Johannesburg


CAPE TOWN — A train crash at a station near Johannesburg on Tuesday derailed one rail car and injured at least 226 people in the second serious rail accident in a week in South Africa.

“Six to seven” people suffered moderate injuries and 159 were taken to the hospital after the crash in Germiston, according to Eric Moloka, a spokesman for the Ekurhuleni Municipality Emergency Services. He added that there were no serious injuries.

“One train was stationary. The train in motion hit it at the back,” Mr. Moloka said. “The third coach from the rear then derailed, causing more injuries. But people were not seriously injured.”

The accident is likely to heighten scrutiny of the safety and oversight of South African rail services. On Thursday, a train crashed into two vehicles at a crossing, killing at least 19 people and injuring hundreds more, about 110 miles to the southwest, near Kroonstad.

Lillian Mofokeng, a spokeswoman for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, the state-owned rail authority, said the moving train had been given permission to enter the station.

“How it was authorized to enter a section of track that was already occupied will be investigated,” she said. Video footage after the crash, which took place during the busy morning commute as South Africans returned to work from summer holidays, showed injured passengers sitting on the platform as they received care from paramedics.

“One accident is too many,” said Ms. Mofokeng, “but we want to remind commuters that rail is still the safest mode of transport in the country.”

According to the Railway Safety Regulator of South Africa, a government agency, 495 people died in train accidents in South Africa last year, with 2,079 injured, an average of almost six per day.


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