From the news desk

Seven die as train hits bakkie at crossing

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Seven people were killed when a train collided with a bakkie at a level crossing in Cape Town early on Friday.

The force of the impact destroyed part of the vehicle at the crossing in Blackheath. Metrorail initially attributed the crash to “human error”.

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said‚ “It happened after 6am when the bakkie landed in front of a train at the Buttskop level crossing at Blackheath. Seven people died.”

Metrorail spokesperson Zino Mihi said‚ “What we do know is that it was human error because the bakkie‚ seven occupants all male‚ they were on their way from the Eerste River side towards the Blackheath area.

“We believe that they were on their way to work but (have) no confirmation. They were in their early 30s. The booms were down so it was not their turn to go. People on the scene told us a combi initially passed through and the bakkie also tried its luck.”

Metrorail advised commuters to use alternative transport if possible as an investigation was underway at the scene of the collision.

Traffic spokesperson Richard Coleman said no traffic was being allowed towards the level crossing.

The same level crossing was the scene of a gruesome accident in 2010 when a taxi driver raced to cross the railway line while transporting children to school. He overtook a row of cars and the train collided with the taxi‚ killing 10 children.

Taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was convicted of murder and handed an effective 20-year jail sentence in the Western Cape High Court after the crash.

[Source: Times Live]
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