Security guard burnt to death

A 35-YEAR-OLD security guard burnt to death inside a cash-in-transit van moments after a train crashed into it in Virginia, Free State, yesterday.

The freight train crashed into the van at Saaiplaas Shaft No3 at the Virginia railway crossing at about 9am.

Police said a colleague of Benjamin Jacobus Rafferty, Danie Ments, train driver Garry Meyer and his crew member Piet Malan, were taken to hospital in a stable condition.

Thabong police spokesperson Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said fire and rescue personnel used the jaws of life to remove Rafferty's lifeless body from the van.

It is alleged that about three men who arrived on the scene first had taken a CZ.75 pistol belonging to the injured security guard and fled.

"Cash boxes were not tampered with since they were still locked. A pistol belonging to the van driver and a machine gun were found in the burnt-out van," Khosana said.

She said after the collision the train dragged the van a few metres until it fell on its side, with the wheels still next to the carriage.

"The carriage with timber also caught fire and was almost derailed," Khosana said.

Rafferty's body was taken to the Welkom state mortuary.

A case of culpable homicide is being investigated.

Khosana appealed to anyone who might have witnessed the accident to contact Captain Ben Strydom of Virginia SAPS Detective Unit on 057-221-0113.

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