Railway crossing deaths investigated

MOGWASE – The Railway Safety Regulator’s (RSR) inspectors have been dispatched to investigate a level crossing accident, which left five school children and one adult dead, near Mogwase on Tuesday 2 March. Another adult who was injured in the collision, has been admitted to hospital.
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the families of the seven people, including three high school learners, who were killed when the motor vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a train.

According to initial reports, a Toyota Venture collided with a Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) light locomotive at the level crossing at Heystekrand on the Thabazimbi line on Tuesday at 06:45. The TFR locomotive was not transporting any train carriages at the time of the accident.

The Regulator stated that it remains committed to reducing loss of life, harm to people, crime, as well as damage to infrastructure and property in and near South Africa’s railways. “A single death in our railways is one death too many.”

All efforts must be made to ensure that people are safe at interfaces of railways and roads, while commuting and in any contact with the rail environment. The RSR is working towards this goal with a multi-pronged strategy. This includes playing an oversight role as per the National Railway Safety Act, regular liaison with operators, issuing directives where needed and educating communities.

Hennie Pauw