Death toll in Free State train accident rises to 12

About 200 people were injured when the locomotive collided with a truck and a light motor vehicle on the tracks.

Train accident in the Free State in Kroonstad where several people have died. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – Free State police have confirmed that the death in the Kroonstad train accident has now risen to at least 12.

About 200 people were injured when the Shosholoza Meyl locomotive collided with a truck and a light motor vehicle on the tracks.

Some train coaches caught fire shortly after the crash.

The injured have been transported to the local hospital for medical treatment.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi is on the scene and is expected to brief the media.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said: “Fire services were the first to arrive on the scene, soon followed by ER24 paramedics and other services.

Earlier one of the commuters, Riaan Terreblanche, said the train was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg when the accident occurred.

“They didn’t give us any reassurance that we’re going to be okay. We were left on the side of the road without any information, some people are dehydrated.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)