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South Africa train wreck kills 18

By Li Zhiwei (People's Daily)    14:10, January 05, 2018

Johannesburg (People’s Daily) – South African authorities have confirmed 18 people were killed after a passenger train slammed into a truck in rural Free State province on January 4, 2018.

The train was en route to Johannesburg from Port Elizabeth when a truck towing two trailers was halfway across the track when it was hit and dragged 1,300 feet.

Authorities said the truck driver had tried to cross the train tracks just ahead of the train. The train burst into flames following impact.

“He thought he was going to pass through,” South African Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said at a press briefing held at the crash site.

Msawanganya confirmed that at least 18 people had died and 268 were injured, with numbers in both categories expected to increase by tomorrow. 429 passengers were on board.

Search and rescue teams were dispatched to the crash area. Passengers sustaining serious injuries were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Passengers who had made it off the train without injury were seen standing on the nearby road with their luggage. Later, they were driven to Johannesburg by bus.

Residents provided immediate aid supplying food and water to those in need.

At least six train carriages were derailed and a few power lines were damaged.

It was reported that a large vehicle discovered upside down beside one of the derailed train carriages that supposedly had crushed a smaller vehicle.

The driver of the truck that caused the accident emerged unscathed from the wreckage.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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