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South Africa:
Excessive working hours blamed for train crash

  : Saturday December 18, 1999

Excessive working hours are being blamed for yesterday's train crash which killed two people near

photo : Reuters
Johannesburg.

The allegation was made by a spokesperson for the South African Footplate Staff Association who said that staff were being forced to work shifts of up to 20 hours a day. This is eight hours longer than is permitted by law and according to the spokesperson is the cause of the high number of accidents.

Yesterday's accident was the third in 4 months. It involved two Metrorail trains which collided head-on at Kaalfontein station in the Kembisa township about 25 km from Johannesburg.

The accident, which occurred at about 15:00 local time, just before the afternoon rush hour killed the driver of one of the trains. A second body, that of a women passenger was only recovered after 10 hours as rescue workers cleared the wreckage.

Earlier estimates that 3 people had been killed were revised after a search of the wreckage where a third body was thought to have been trapped revealed nothing. Up to 190 people are now thought to have been injured

Web sources:
Death toll in South African train crash corrected to two
Nando Times18 Dec 1999
Trains crash head-on in South Africa
Excite News 18 Dec 1999
Three killed, 153 hurt in passenger train crash in South Africa
Nando Times17 Dec 1999
Earlier story
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