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1 person killed in train collision in South Africa

April 28, 2015

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Two passenger trains collided south of Johannesburg on Tuesday, killing the conductor of one of the trains and injuring 241 people, rescue workers said.

The driver of one of the trains was declared dead at the scene, said a spokesman for ER24 emergency services, Russel Meiring. A woman passenger was trapped between the train and a wall, Meiring said in a statement. Rescue workers freed her before airlifting her to a hospital.

The other passengers’ injuries ranged from minor to critical, and many people were treated on the platform before being taken to hospitals, the statement said.

Photographs of the crash, distributed by ER24, show derailed and mangled train carriages. The trains were travelling on the same track from Pretoria to Johannesburg, said Lillian Mofokeng, spokeswoman for the Metrorail service in the Gauteng province.

The cause of the crash is not yet known, and investigations are underway, said Mofokeng.

“It is devastating,” South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, told journalists at the scene. “It shows that this is something that we could be able to avoid.”

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