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At least 12 killed, 180 injured in South Africa train crash; 850 evacuated

About 850 passengers had been safely evacuated from the train, the police said

IANS  |  Johannesburg 

south africa train crash
Police officers inspect a wreckage after a train crash near Hennenman in the Free State province, South Africa | Photo Reuters

At least 12 people were killed and 180 were injured when a train crashed into vehicles in central on Thursday, an official said.

The train was travelling from the coastal city of to when the crash occurred.

Video footage showed a fire blazing through at least one carriage, near an overturned truck and car. Evacuated passengers were seen standing on the roadside with luggage, the BBC reported.

The collision occurred near Kroonstad city in Free State province, after the truck failed to stop at a crossing, a passenger told local media.

About 850 passengers had been safely evacuated from the train, the police said.

The driver of the truck tried to flee, but was arrested by the police, passenger Seipati Moletsane told eCNA news site. Passengers in the first two coaches were wounded, she said.

"I was so traumatised. I was looking for a door just to jump out but every door was locked... All of a sudden, we saw smoke, smoke, smoke," Moletsane said.

Emergency assistance group Netcare911 said they were attending to the crash in the area of Kroonstad, a city 180 km south west of Johannesburg, along with other emergency services.

The number of dead could rise, authorities said.

First Published: Thu, January 04 2018. 21:23 IST