Regulator sets up independent board of inquiry after Kroonstad train crash

The regulator says preliminary investigations into the crash show that all safety requirements were adhered to including traveling within the speed limit.

Officials clean-up the scene of a train crash in Kroonstad, Free State. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Railway Safety Regulator says an independent board of inquiry has been set up to investigate the circumstances that led to the deadly Kroonstad train crash.

The regulator says preliminary investigations into the crash show that all safety requirements were adhered to including travelling within the speed limit.

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

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

The regulator is investigating both incidents.

The regulator's chairperson Nomusa Qunta says a site inspection was conducted and it shows that the safety requirements were met.

She also says the train driver, who was also injured in the crash, tested negative for alcohol.

She says at the time of the accident the train was travelling at 78 km per hour and the speed limit was 90 km.

“It has become necessary that we as the RSR establish a board of inquiry in order to establish the reasons for the fire because we will all be aware that most of the cause of the 19 lives that were lost was as a result of mostly the fire.”

Qunta says Tuesday’s Germiston crash at the Geldenhuis Station was as a result of human error.

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

WATCH: Eyewitness describes Kroonstad train crash aftermath