PINETOWN SRIKES AGAIN: A truck's trailer stuck on the railway line caused a passenger train to derail in Pinetown, Durban. 10 people were injured. Image: Arrive Alive
At least ten people have sustained moderate to minor injuries after a train collided with a truck trailer, according to Arrive Alive, on Fairdale road in Moseley Park in Pinetown on Friday (June 17).
The incident occurred at about 1.15pm.
In 2013 Wheels24 reported on a truck which crashed into four minibus taxis and a car in Field's Hill, Pinetown, leaving 22 people dead.
Arrive Alive editor Johan Jonck said: "Reports from the scene indicate that the trailer was left on the railway line by a truck driver who failed to cross the railway because the truck's trailer got entangled in the overhead power lines.
VIDEO: Horrific Pinetown crash
"It’s believed that the truck driver detached the mechanical horse from the trailer and left the trailer across the railway line, according to reports.
"Moments later, a commuter train coming into the Moseley park railway station collided with the stranded trailer causing the locomotive to derail from the track, said Arrive Alive.
A Netcare911 Rescue officer was the first on scene, he attended to some of the injured patients before handing them over to paramedics from various emergency services, said reports.
There were at least forty people on board the train, but only ten people sustained injuries.
All injured passengers, including the train driver, were transported to various hospitals in the area for further medical care.
Safety tips for motorists at level-crossings:
• Road users must follow road rules and signs and pay attention to the road environment when approaching rail crossings.
• Always remember that where there’s a crossing, there’s danger.
• Not all railway crossings have boom gates and the most do not have flashing lights.
• When you see a sign indicating a crossing - slow down, look and listen and be prepared to stop at the yield sign but stop at the stop sign. The flashing lights is there to warn you of oncoming trans and failing to stop under this circumstance is a very dangerous act.
• Slow down so that you can stop if necessary. You’ll add hardly any time to your journey, but it may save your and someone else’s life.
• Don't be fooled by an optical illusion - trains in the distance are often closer and travelling faster than they appear.
• Never enter a level crossing if red lights are flashing. Wait for the lights to stop flashing before driving across railway tracks
• Do not cross the track until you are sure the train or trains have passed - If there are signals, wait until they stop flashing and, if the crossing has a barrier, wait until it rises before you cross.
• If you decide to zig zag through the barriers it is an extremely dangerous act. Never drive around, under or through a railway gate while it is down or is being lowered or raised.
• Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you will lose!
• If a train is coming, stop at least five metres from the nearest rail or gate - Never stop on the tracks. Also ensure that the back of your vehicle is 5 meters clear of the track.
• Accelerate swiftly till you reach the railway lines and drive over the railway lines. Avoid shifting gears on a railway crossing.
• Never queue on a railway crossing - if you have stopped on a crossing and a train is approaching, immediately drive off the track or get out of your car and move clear
• A common mistake is stopping on the tracks while waiting for traffic ahead of you to proceed. Not only do you risk a collision with a train, but your vehicle could be struck by the barrier arms if they're activated. If you are caught between closed barriers it is better to drive through that being crushed by a train. (This practise was decided upon at the 10th International Symposium on Level crossings.)
• To avoid these situations, stop well behind the barriers and wait until you have enough room to clear the tracks completely.
• Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a level crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is a metre wider than the racks on both sides.
• If you get trapped on a crossing or your vehicle failed, immediately get everyone out of the vehicle and move quickly from the track to a safe location. It will not help to stand on the rails and wave for the train to stop. It can't.
• Move quickly away in the direction the train is coming from. If you run in the same direction the train is travelling, when the train hits your car you could be injured by flying debris and burnt by the burning fuel.
• If stuck on the rail call your local law enforcement agency for assistance - Some crossings have railway emergency numbers prominently displayed or phone 0801112239 indicating the road between which towns, the level crossing number or the nearest mast pole number on electrified lines .
• At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching in either direction.
• Remember that regardless of what you drive, in a collision with a train, the train will always win.
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Safety tips for truck drivers at level crossings:
• Know the length of your vehicle and load overhang in relation to space available to safely clear a crossing.
• The length of your truck and trailer. It important for getting through the crossing - do not block the adjacent streets if you are going to wait for a train to cross.
• The time it takes for you to bring your truck and trailers to a stop if you need to and the time it will take to clear the crossing with the truck and the trailer .
• Check if the height of the truck is clear from the height gauge. If it is not clear do not proceed across a level crossing. This is to avoid touching the high voltage electrical overhead wires.
• Be aware of the load on your truck. Trucks carrying heavy loads may take more time to clear the tracks than anticipated.
If you notice any of the behaviours listed below, please report these incidents to the National Traffic Call Centre at 0861 400 800
• Vehicles queuing over a crossing, driving around or under boom gates
• Vehicles failing to stop on a flashing red signal
• Vehicles failing to stop at a level crossing stop sign
• Pedestrians ignoring level crossing warning devices or failing to use appropriate pedestrian mazes
• Damage or vandalism to signs or level crossing protection equipment.
• The Toll Free number to report defects, stuck vehicles and incidents at level crossings is: 0801112239