S African govt launches probe into train crash

ANI | Updated: Jan 05, 2018 20:45 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Jan 5 (ANI): The South African Government on Friday directed the country's transport department to launch a probe into Thursday's train crash that killed around 18 people and injured more than 200.

South African Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said, in a statement: "Preliminary investigations indicate that the derailment was caused by the truck, which untimely crossed the level crossing at around nine o'clock this morning."

The minister added: "Investigations indicate that the power car caught fire, which crossed over to the next coach, thereby causing the derailment."

Maswanganyi himself visited the accident site and offered condolence messages to the families of the deceased.

According to local media reports, the accident occurred after a train collided with a truck and a car near Kroonstad in South Africa's Free State province.

The train was heading to Johannesburg from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth.

The Shosholoza Meyl Rail Company, which operates long-distance trains in South Africa, said in a statement earlier that there were 429 passengers onboard. (ANI)