Train crash injured now more than 200 as Gauteng expresses concern at frequency of accidents

JOHANNESBURG – MORE than 200 passengers were injured in a commuter train crash in south Johannesburg late Friday, medical officials said, as investigators examined the scene the morning after the accident.
No fatalities were reported from the collision when one train ploughed into a stationery train near Booysens station as workers headed home from the city, the economic capital of South Africa.
“Just over 200 patients were treated in hospital and many have already been discharged by this morning,” Russel Meiring, spokesman for the ER24 emergency medical service, told AFP on Saturday.
In dark, cold conditions, emergency workers had carried badly injured people to dozens of waiting ambulances as shocked passengers sat on the ground and received treatment for minor injuries.
Some passengers were given medical care inside the wrecked carriages before being carefully lifted down a steep embankment on stretchers.
The accident happened at the height of the evening rush hour when the trains were packed with people traveling from Johannesburg city centre to residential areas.
A spokesman for the rail authorities said the cause of the crash was unknown and that an investigation was underway at the site.

Meanwhile ANA reports that  the Gauteng provincial government on Sunday expressed concern about the frequency of train accidents, following a collision on Friday night which left 239 people injured.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura wished the Metrorail commuters, most of whom were discharged from hospital, a speedy recovery.

“We are very concerned with the frequency of accidents on our trains,” Makhura said.

“These accidents should be avoided at all cost and we urge PRASA [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa] to take all necessary precautions to ensure that passengers reach their destinations safely and alive.”

Makhura said 28 people were still hospitalised after the crash which saw one train collide into the back of a stationary train between the Booysens and Crown Mines stations.

Both trains were headed for Soweto.

In April, a Metrorail security guard was killed and 240 people injured when two trains collided at the Denver train station during the morning peak in Johannesburg.