Durban — An investigation is under way into the possible cause of a goods carrier train collision with a passenger train near the Umgeni Road Station in Durban on Friday.
The goods train from Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) was carrying new cars. It is still unclear if they were destined for export or if they had just been offloaded.
Photographs from the scene showed a train derailed and lying on its side and some of the damaged cars inside the wreckage.
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa spokesperson Zama Nomnganga confirmed the incident saying no fatalities or injuries were reported on the scene.
“The debris was cleared over the weekend. By Monday the trains were back to their normal schedule. At this stage we are not aware of what caused the accident,” said Nomnganga.
Asked about the destination of the cars, he said they did not have knowledge about that as the goods train was under TFR.
It is however suspected there was failure of an automated system which puts trains on different tracks.
The chief fire officer at eThekwini Municipality, Zibuse Ngcece, said he could not locate the incident on their system, which was strange because usually they were called out to the scene if such an incident occurred.
This was the second incident of this nature happening in KwaZulu-Natal in a space of a month, as on May 11 a train derailed on the line at the Mqwabe Bypass between Dumbe and Vryheid.
According to a statement on the TFR website: “Forty-nine loaded wagons on the train, which were en route to Richards Bay, derailed on the north corridor. No injuries were reported and operations continued on the line with only 50% reduction, as a result of the derailment.”
All wagons were cleared and the line was handed over to the Rail Network Unit for formation activities. The cause of the derailment was unknown and they hoped that it would be determined once investigations were finalised.
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