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No arrests made in connection with Kroonstad train crash

The police’s Motantsi Makhele says they might need to ask officers from other provinces to help with the investigation.

The wreckage from the train accident near Kroonstad where several people died on 4 January, 2018. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Free State police say no one has yet been arrested in connection with the deadly train crash near Kroonstad but detectives are taking statements from survivors.

Eighteen commuters died when a truck towing a trailer allegedly ignored a stop sign and crashed into the moving train on Thursday.

Hundreds of passengers were injured when the coaches burst into flames.

The police’s Motantsi Makhele says they might need to ask officers from other provinces to help with the investigation.

“We’ve a number of people whom we must take statements from. This type of case which is being investigated will be laid to the public prosecutor to make a decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute.

“So we can’t on the spot decide that we take into custody until such investigation has unfolded.”

While various investigations are underway, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has sent equipment to escalate the search and rescue operations with more bodies feared to be still trapped in the rubble.

Prasa acting CEO Mthuthuzeli Swarts says they are in touch with the families.

“As Prasa we’ve committed that we’ll be assisting all passengers in ensuring that they legal recourse and assisting them with medical bills and so on.”