Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Tuesday called for answers into the cause of the train crash in Johannesburg that killed a woman Metrorail employee.

“As government… we need Prasa to give answers as to how a moving train can crash
into a stationary one,” she told reporters at the Denver train station.

She said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) had a good safety record.

“One accident should not deter [people] from using the passenger rail services. We always make sure that safety is the first priority. Every crash and accident gives us a lesson in terms of improving our service. Investigations will give us the exact picture of what happened.

“What I have seen is devastating… Prasa has a good record, but there has never been this type of magnitude of crash.”

The woman, a safety officer, was at the back of a stationary Metro Plus train carrying 700 people when it was rear-ended at about 07:00 by a Business Express with about 200 people on board.

Metrorail accident

Dealing with concerns

Her job was to give the driver the all-clear. Over 200 people were injured. One of the train’s drivers was airlifted to hospital.

It was the second accident involving public transport in Johannesburg since Friday.

A head-on collision between two metrobuses on Jan Smuts Avenue, near Zoo Lake, during Friday morning rush-hour traffic killed three people, including a pregnant woman and one of the bus drivers.

Peters offered condolences to the family of the dead safety officer and those injured. She said both the officer and the injured driver “incidentally” happened to be women.

Prasa’s offices at Park Station would be open from 07:00 on Wednesday to deal with all concerns from passengers involved in the crash.

“Prasa and Metrorail are ready to give the necessary support [to those injured in the crash].

“The line will be affected up until the infrastructure is restored,” Peters said.

Prasa CEO Mosenngwa Mofi earlier said it could take up to six hours to clear the scene, but they wanted to have it done by the afternoon peak.

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