Atteridgeville train operator stable

A train operator who was involved in the Atteridgeville crash is one of four people still in hospital.

The scene where two trains collided in Atteridgeville on 31 January 2013, injuring over 300 people. Picture: Netcare 911

JOHANNESBURG - Metrorail on Sunday said the train operator who crashed into a stationary locomotive in Atteridgeville last week Thursday was among four people receiving care in hospital.

Gert Kotze was critically injured in the crash that left almost 300 people injured.

Metrorail said the train's signalling system was being manually operated at the time of the accident after the cables were stolen from the lines.

It has also rejected suggestions the operator, who has worked for the company for 36 years, was to blame.

Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said Kotze's condition has improved.

"He is doing very well. He is out of the critical state and he is receiving the correct medical attention at Milpark Hospital."

Metrorail believes the cable theft and recent incidents of arson could be related to an on-going strike by members of the National Transport Movement.

Metrorail employees affiliated to the union downed tools more than two weeks ago, claiming their union was not being recognised by employers.

The union however says the rail company is trying to shift the blame for last week's crash.