South Africa Train Collision Injures 320 People

October 5, 2018 Updated: October 5, 2018

JOHANNESBURG—About 320 people were injured when a packed train traveling from South Africa’s business hub Johannesburg to the capital Pretoria crashed into the back of a stationary train, Metrorail authorities said on Oct. 5.

The collision, which occurred at 5:50 p.m. on Thursday during peak rush hour travel, left 32 passengers with serious but not critical injuries.

“The injured commuters were taken for medical attention at various hospitals,” Metrorail said in a statement.

“A board of enquiry will be instituted soon to determine the root cause of the accident.”

In January, a similar train accident on the outskirts of Johannesburg injured 200 people.

South Africa has the continent’s largest railway network, but it has been plagued by mismanagement and under-investment that has seen train use dwindle despite it being the cheapest form of public transportation.

In a report, the government’s Rail Safety Regulator said that, in the 2016/17 financial year, 495 people lost their lives on the country’s railways and 2,079 were injured. The death toll was up 5 percent from the previous year.

by Joe Brock

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