The Latest: 18 dead in South Africa passenger train crash

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Latest on passenger train crash in South Africa (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

A South African official says 18 people died when a passenger train slammed into a truck whose driver mistakenly thought he could cross the tracks in time.

Mthuthuzeli Swartz, acting CEO of the state-owned passenger rail agency, said Thursday that some who died were trapped in the train and burned to death when some carriages caught fire.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi says about 260 people were injured in the crash in Free State province.


4 p.m.

South Africa’s transport minister says at least 12 people died and more than 260 were injured in a collision between a truck and a passenger train.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi told journalists on Thursday that the truck driver was “taking chances” when he tried to cross the railway tracks ahead of the oncoming train in Free State province.

Maswanganyi says an investigation is ongoing.

Video shows part of the train in flames after the collision, and some passengers were seen walking with their luggage through high grass from the wreck to a nearby road.


12:25 p.m.

Rescue workers in South Africa say four people have been killed and dozens injured in a passenger train crash.

Netcare 911, an emergency responders’ group, reported the death toll on Twitter after the accident Thursday morning. Netcare 911 says about 40 people were injured while another rescue group, ER24, has said about 100 people were hurt.

South African media are reporting that the train and a truck collided and part of the train burst into flames.

Video of the crash between Hennenman and Kroonstad in Free State province shows at least one train carriage on fire and billowing smoke. Some passengers are seen with their luggage on the side of the road near the wreck.


11:45 a.m.

South African rescue workers say dozens of people have been injured in a train accident in Free State province.

ER24, an emergency responders’ group, said Thursday on Twitter that there are initial reports of about 100 injured people in the crash between Hennenman and Kroonstad.

Citing witnesses, media outlet eNCA says part of the train burst into flames after it was hit by a truck.