Thursday, April 22, 2010

A luxury train derailed in South Africa outside the capitol of Pretoria yesterday, killing at least two people and leaving 25 injured.

The train had been entering a station in Pretoria when seventeen cars derailed, apparently during a switch between steam and electric locomotives, although the exact cause is not known. The train had been coming from Cape Town, with 55 passengers and an unknown number of crew on board.

None of the dead were identified, and nationalities were not released. However, a spokesperson for the operator of the train, Rovos Rail, said that passengers were from several different countries, and that most customers of the railroad were from the US or Europe.

Chris Botha, an emergency worker at the scene said that the derailment had produced “absolute carnage.” According to him, “[s]ome of the railway coaches are lying on top of each other and absolute wreckages. They had to use hydraulic rescue equipment to cut some of the people free.” The section of track where the incident occurred has been closed off.

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