PRETORIA, South Africa -Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has demanded an explanation from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) after three people were killed and more than 600 injured following a collision of two passenger trains on Tuesday in Pretoria, South Africa.
According to a private emergency medical response company, Netcare 911, about 800 people were on board at the time of the crash. Netcare 911 also reported that more than 620 people sustained minor to moderate injuries.
Nzimande who visited the scene has called for answers and more stringent measures to deal with the situation of rail safety.
The minister who was briefed by engineers at the scene said that the accident was caused by failing signals as a result of cable theft. He is, therefore, demanding a brief on the role of security companies whose job is to guard the railways.
Nzimande said that he has asked the chairperson of the board for answers on actions to be taken in order to address the security issue.
Railway cable theft has been a continuing issue in South Africa and has been the cause of most rail accidents. According to the Railway Safety Regulator, 17,495 people were killed or injureddue to rail accidents in 2016.