Approximately 100 people were injured yesterday following a collision between two trains at the Eloff extension in Selby south of Johannesburg. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA
The Railway Safety Regulator has blamed a traffic control officer for last week’s Selby train accident.

But the United National Transport Union (Untu) has rubbished the claims, saying the regulator has no expertise to reach the conclusion.

Last week, two trains collided at Booysens Station, injuring 112 passengers.

One train was en route from Faraday to Naledi Station while the other was from Booysens destined for George Goch Station.

According to the regulator’s preliminary findings, the traffic control officer issued manual authorisation to the train headed to Naledi to pass and proceed to Crown Station. Minutes later, the officer authorised another train on to the same line.

Regulator spokesperson Madelein Williams said: “The regulator has in the past instructed Prasa (Passenger Rail Agency of SA) to provide sufficient supervision to traffic control officers and to provide proper control and approval of manual authorisation.”

Untu said it was shocked and disappointed by the regulator’s conclusion.

Steve Harris, general secretary of Untu, said the regulator and Prasa must admit “they don’t have the expertise, management skills or supporting infrastructure to use manual train authorisations”.