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FS train crash: Truck driver had ample warning to stop, says regulator

The Shosholoza Meyl crash claimed the lives of 19 people, while another 254 were treated for injuries.

Clean-up operations begin at the scene of a train crash in Kroonstad, Free State on 6 January, 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Rail Safety Regulator says that its investigations into the Free State train crash has revealed that there was adequate signage warning the truck driver who crashed into the train to stop.

The Shosholoza Meyl crash claimed the lives of 19 people, while another 254 were treated for injuries.

The locomotive was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg when it collided with a truck attempting to cross the railway line.

Despite testing negative for alcohol, the Rail Safety Regulator's Madelein Williams says that the truck driver had sufficient warning signs alerting him of the train crossing.

"That is protected by warning signs and stop signs. There's also whistle boards on either sides of the level crossing."

Five coaches on the train caught fire following the derailment.

Williams says that an investigation into why this happened is underway.

"As well as to identify the source of the fire so that we can make recommendations with the view of trying to prevent a reoccurrence."

Following another train crash, this time in Germiston on Tuesday, the regulator has blamed human error.

The regulator is expected to shed more light on their collision findings during a media briefing later on Wednesday.