Johannesburg - Metrorail said on Tuesday that it would launch an investigation into the cause of the accident that left more than 200 people injured when two passenger trains collided at Geldenhuis Station in Germiston, east of Johannesburg.
Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said that one passenger train rear-ended a stationary train early Tuesday morning during the peak period, resulting in the closure of one railway line though the station is operational.
"This morning at approximately 07h45, two Metrorail commuter trains collided at Geldenhuis Station, east of Johannesburg. These trains were both traveling on the same line towards Springs from Johannesburg," Mofokeng said.
"What happened is that one train was stationary at Geldenhuis Station when the other train just went behind it. We do not know the details what exactly could have caused that and we will be instituting the board of inquiry to help us understand what could have happened and caused this unfortunate accident."
Mofokeng said there were initial reports that cable theft might have been the cause of the accident, but said that Metrorail will be investigating all possible scenarios as there was no evidence to support claims that cable theft might be directly linked to the accident.
"We have since learnt that it was not necessarily the issue. So we are trying to get to the merits of what could have happened," Mofokeng said.
"We will have a report immediately after dealing with clearing the injured patients. The emergency services are at the scene attending to the 226 injured commuters, 67 are moderate injuries, while 159 are light injuries."
Mofokeng said that at the moment, trains running between Johannesburg and Germiston are running on a single line with associated 60 minutes delays experienced.
Meanwhile, families of 19 people who died in a train and truck crash last week in Kroonstaad, Free State, will on Tuesday begin identifying the bodies of the victims.
A Shosholoza Meyl passenger train travelling to Johannesburg derailed after it crashed into a truck at a rail crossing on Thursday last week.
Metrorail has also set up a walk-in Center at its headquarters, Umjantshi House in Braamfontein near Park Station to assist the commuters who were involved in the Kroonstaad train crash.
African News Agency/ANA