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Regulator: Kroonstad train met all safety requirements

Nineteen people died and 260 passengers were injured when a truck smashed in a Shosholoza Meyl train in the Free State town.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Railway Safety Regulator says preliminary investigations into the Kroonstad train crash show all safety requirements were adhered to, including the speed limit

Nineteen people died and 260 passengers were injured when a truck smashed in a Shosholoza Meyl train in the Free State town.

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 regulator's Madelein Williams says that the truck driver had sufficient warning signs alerting him to the train crossing.

On Tuesday, in a separate incident, more than 220 passengers were hurt when a train rear-ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuis station in Germiston.

The regulator is investigating both incidents.

The regulator has ordered the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa to stop manual authorisation of trains, saying this resulted in Tuesday’s crash.

Chairperson Nomusa Qunta says the trains were being manually operated because the system was down due to cable theft.

The regulator says it's concerned about recurring accidents and will strictly monitor operations

WATCH: Eyewitness describes Kroonstad train crash aftermath

Additional reporting by Hitekani Magwedze.