Railway Safety Regulator says human error caused Germiston train crash

A train rear-ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuys train station earlier, leaving over 200 people injured. It's understood trains were being manually directed at the time.

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 says a preliminary investigation into Tuesday morning's Metrorail train collision in Germiston points to human error as the cause.

A train rear-ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuys train station earlier, leaving over 200 people injured.

It's understood trains were being manually directed at the time because of a problem with signal cables.

While those injured in the Geldenhuys train station crash have been transported to medical centres for assistance, the rail safety regulator's Madelein Williams says investigators are still on the scene conducting tests.

She says, so far, their investigation suggests that human error was to blame for the collision.

“We were informed by our investigators that a train was manually authorised to enter the platform. Shortly after doing so, the train failed and was then stationary on that platform. Not long after that, another train was manually authorised onto the same platform.”

Williams says a thorough investigation report will reveal who was involved in the decision-making process leading up to the accident.

This incident follows the deadly Free State train crash last week.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens more were injured when the train collided with a truck outside Kroonstad.

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque

WATCH: Metrorail sets up board of inquiry into Geldenhuis Train Station crash