Durban – Estcourt police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after three people were killed after a minibus and car train crashed at a level crossing in Danskraal, Ladysmith, in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday morning.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said it is alleged that in the morning a minibus with three people, two men and a woman believed to be in their 30s were travelling on the R103 in Estcourt.
“Whilst they were crossing the railway line, the vehicle they were travelling in was knocked by a train. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” said Gwala.
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) spokesperson Mike Asefovitz said an investigation was launched into the cause of the crash near Danskraal.
Rescue mission going on at the scene of a horrific accident involving a minibus and and a train on R74 near Colenso in KZN. Unconfirmed reports indicate that 3 people passed away. #LetsBeSafeKZN pic.twitter.com/nvsLyze3a2
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) October 1, 2020
“Emergency crews and SAPS responded immediately and pronounced the 3 occupants of the bus deceased,” said Asefovitz.
“The train crew members were uninjured, but are being treated for shock.”
He said TFR executives expressed sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.
Asefovitz appealed to the community to assist in eradicating these tragic incidents by obeying at all times the traffic laws governing rail level crossings.
“The law requires motorists to bring the motor vehicle to a complete standstill at the level crossing. A fully-laden goods train requires at least one kilometre to come to a standstill, and the train driver cannot, unlike a motorist, apply brakes and stop immediately or swerve out of the way,” said Asefovitz.
Last month KwaZulu-Natal Private Ambulance Service responded to a train and vehicle crash.
According to the emergency service, when they arrived they found that a vehicle and train had collided.
“It is reported that the vehicle broke down while crossing the train tracks. The occupant quickly realised the train was approaching and exited the vehicle,” said the ambulance service.
No one sustained any injuries.