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FIVE school children were injured - two critically - after their school transport minibus was hit by a goods train in Soweto yesterday afternoon.
The driver of a Toyota Quantum minibus, allegedly ignored warning signs to stop at a level crossing in Dobsonville, Soweto. He allegedly overtook vehicles in front of him at a level crossing, and was hit on the side and pushed a few metres before the train could stop.
Osky Sambo, a vegetable vendor who witnessed the incident at the intersection of Elias Motsoaledi and Main Reef road, near Dobsonville, Soweto, said he heard the train hoot, warning motorists as it approached the level crossing.
"There were two small vehicles and two trucks at the crossing. A small vehicles overtook those cars and the taxi driver followed, but was hit," Sambo said.
Emergency services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said the critically injured children were taken to Tshepo-Themba Clinic and the other three to Leratong Hospital.
He said the vehicle was carrying 14 children from Westridge High School in Roodepoort, West Rand.
Joburg Metro police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane confirmed that the driver of the taxi had failed to stop, leading to the accident.
The accident happens three months after a Cape Town taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was found guilty of murdering 10 children who were killed when his taxi was hit by a train at a level crossing in the city.
Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney sentenced Humphreys, 55, to 20 years for the 10 charges of murder and four of attempted murder.
The incident happened on August 25 2010 while Humphreys was transporting children to school.
He stopped at the Buttskop level crossing, overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals and proceeded through the crossing.