SOUTH AFRICA: Copper cable theft was believed to be the ‘root cause’ of a passenger train accident near Saulsville in Pretoria yesterday that resulted in at least 200 people being injured, according to a preliminary finding.
Transport department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said last night they have been informed by Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of SA] that at least 50 metres worth of copper cable was stolen from different parts of the railway track.
Rikhotso explained that when cables are stolen, the rail system’s technology changes from automatic to manual.
As a result of the theft, the automated signaling was off.
The train accident happened around 7am when one train rammed into the back of another which was stationary.
No deaths were reported, but Prasa said two people, including a train driver, sustained critical injuries.