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Metrorail ordered to halt manual authorisation of trains

In the latest incident, 220 commuters were hurt when one train rear ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuis Station in Germiston on Tuesday.

Officials and rescue services personnel on the scene of a train crash in Germiston on 9 January, 2018. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Railway Safety Regulator has ordered Metrorail to immediately stop the manual authorisation of trains until further notice.

In the latest incident, 220 commuters were hurt when one train rear-ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuis Station in Germiston on Tuesday.

While investigations are still being conducted to determine the cause of the crash, Metrorail suspects that cable theft may have played a role.

The regulator's Madelein Williams says that in order to cut out human error and prevent another crash, no trains may be authorised manually until further notice.

“Apparently there’s been a lot of cable theft and that has an impact on the signalling system, which then means they would have to manually authorise trains onto different sections of the rail.”

Meanwhile, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's Sipho Sithole says cable theft is a major problem.

WATCH: At least 200 commuters injured in Germiston train crash

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