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19 die in S. Africa truck-train collision

July 13, 2012 at 6:49 AM   |   Comments

MALELANE, South Africa, July 13 (UPI) -- A truck carrying farmworkers collided with a train at a crossing in Malelane, South Africa, killing at least 19 people and injuring 24, officials said Friday.

The force of the impact "saw the truck cleaved and flung from the railway line," Emergency services spokesman Jeff Wicks told the Johannesburg Mail & Guardian.

Information about the accident was sketchy, Wicks said.

Sandile Simelane, a representative of Transnet Freight Rail, said the train did not derail and the tracks weren't damaged.

There were no cross bars at the crossing where the accident occurred, but Simelane said it had adequate signage, the Mail and Guardian reported.

"We have adequate signage at all our level crossings and normally as a train approaches a level crossing, within a kilometer or two [about a half-mile to a mile], it starts blowing a horn to warn people," he said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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