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Death toll in Kroonstad train accident rises to 21

The rail way agency says two more bodies were discovered at the morgue three weeks after the deadly free state crash.

FILE: The wreckage of the Shosholoza Meyl locomotive involved in a crash with a truck on 4 January, 2018 near Kroonstad. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The death toll in the Kroonstad train accident involving a Shosholoza Meyl and truck has risen to 21.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says that two more bodies were discovered at the morgue three weeks after the deadly Free State crash.

More than 200 people were hurt when a truck smashed into the Shoshozola Meyl train just outside Kroonstad.

An inquiry has been set up to investigate the circumstances around the crash.

Prasa's Sipho Sithole says there have been challenges in ensuring all the victims were accounted for.

“They have explained to us that it took some time to reconstruct because of the nature of the accident that some of them had suffered, so by the time that they had fully reconstructed the remains, they were then able to gather that they were two more.”

This week, saw two more incidents that brought rail commuter safety into the spotlight after a Cape Town train derailed when vandals damaged infrastructure on Wednesday, just a few hours after rail tracks in Germiston were tampered with.