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A crash between a truck and a train has claimed 19 lives, with the death toll likely to rise as the day progresses.
Paramedics from all the major emergency services’ agencies had their hands full on the N14 this morning, as they treated a further 24 injured men and women, four of whom were fighting for their lives at the time of publication.
According to Netcare 911 spokesman, Jeff Wicks, a truck carrying dozens of farm workers was struck by a train at a level crossing near Hectorspruit in Mpumalanga.
“It appears that the truck had passed over the level crossing and was hit by the train. The force of impact cleaved the truck in half and flung it from the railway line,” Wicks said.
Police were however still set to confirm the cause of the incident.
Dozens of the truck’s occupants were flung to the ground. Paramedics arriving on the scene found the injured lying among the dead.
At first it seemed 10 people had been killed but by 10am, a further nine people had been declared dead either at the scene or on their way to nearby hospitals.
It was unknown how many of the injured had been on the train, or whether families of the victims had been informed of the incident.