Approximately 100 people have been injured after a Shosholoza Meyl train derailed between Hennenman and Kroonstad in the Free State on Thursday morning‚ according to emergency services.
ER24’s Russel Meiring told TimesLIVE the number of injured was changing constantly. No fatalities have yet been confirmed‚ he said.
The train was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg‚ carrying many holidaymakers on their way home.
Meiring said the train‚ a truck and a car were involved in the incident.
A video posted on Twitter showed several train cars on fire.
“ER24 paramedics‚ along with other services‚ began to evacuate the train and assess the patients while fire services began to battle the blaze‚” Meiring said.
“Upon assessment‚ paramedics found that approximately 100 patients had sustained injuries ranging from minor to serious. Initial reports show that no fatalities have been found on the scene.”
Maroela Media reported that Tiaan Esterhuizen‚ a passenger on the train‚ said the incident had occurred around 9.15am.
“We were in the restaurant section of the train eating breakfast when we felt a jerk and soon after the train came to a standstill‚” he is quoted as saying.
“Some of the people told me afterward they heard the train blowing its horn for a long time before the accident happened.”
He said that many paramedics‚ firefighters and ambulances were on the scene.
“We took the train because we thought it would be safer than being on the roads.”