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Mother's Day trauma after sparks in train

By Corrinne Louw | May 11, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

MOTHER'S Day turned into a harrowing experience for a 27-year-old mother who had travelled by train to visit her only child.

Nonhlanhla Blose was 200 metres away from her home station in Briardene after visiting her child in Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal.

It is believed that a spark from the overhead cable that supplies electricity to the train caused an explosion, causing passengers to panic and jump off the train

Blose said she tried to get out of the train after she saw a coach on fire. "I was so scared that I was pushing to get out. But the coach had other people in it and all the people wanted to get off the train. The doors of the train could not open and everyone was panicking.

"When the doors did open after a long time, we just jumped out onto the railway line, not knowing where we were going," Blose said.

Otilia Mabeza, a mother of four, said she had no idea that her train trip from Stanger to Johannesburg to see her children on the day that was supposed to honour mothers would end in such a way for her.

"I hurt my leg when I jumped out of the train, not knowing where I was jumping to," she said.

Emergency Medical Rescue Services spokesperson Paulose Manqele said 36 people were injured in the incident that brought traffic to a standstill on Effingham Road, Greenwood Park.

"Two people were seriously injured with fractures to their legs and taken to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital."

Metrorail spokesperson Thandi Mkhize said investigations were under way to uncover what caused the accident.

"Train 0288 from Stanger to Durban caught some electric sparks on the overhead traction equipment."

The incident took place while the train was waiting for authorisation on a red signal on a section at Greenwood Park.

Mkhize said the roof of the motor coach was damaged because of the sparks and that the rail line was up and running four hours after the incident.


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