Lifestyle & Belief

South Africa: Many dead after train collides with farm truck


From South Africa's Mail & Guardian website.

In South Africa, more than 30 people were killed this morning when a coal train crashed into a truck packed with farm workers, Agence France Presse reported, while Reuters put the death toll at 19.

Paramedics rushed to the scene of the accident, at a railway crossing in the eastern Mpumalanga province, near Malelane, east of the provincial capital Nelspruit.

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Mpumalanga's head of the community safety department, Thulani Sibuyi, said some victims had been "torn into pieces," with many more injured.

The Zambia Post reported that the truck, which was carrying as many as 50 farm workers, split into two, and was flung from the railway line by the force of the impact.

"It would appear as if the truck driver may have crossed the railway line without having a proper look-out and as a result the train hit him and then pulled him for about a kilometre to two kilometres," Sibuyi said.

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Police spokesman Joseph Mabusa said the truck driver appeared to have miscalculated when crossing the track, leaving his vehicle directly in the path of the train, Reuters reported.

The injured were rushed to hospital, and police say they are investigating the cause of the accident.