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One dead, 240 injured in South Africa commuter train crash


johannesburg_map_240x180A train guard was killed and 240 people injured Tuesday when two crowded commuter trains collided in Johannesburg, South African officials said, adding that emergency teams had cut a woman free from the wreckage.

Both trains were travelling from the capital Pretoria to nearby Johannesburg when one stopped at a station in the suburb of Denver and the other smashed into it shortly after 7:00 am at the height of rush hour.

“Of the injured, two commuters are reported to be critical, 25 suffered serious injuries, and 213 commuters suffered minor injuries,” state railway operator Metrorail said in a statement.

The News24 agency had reported that the driver had been killed, but Metrorail said the driver was injured and that a train guard had died.

“Paramedics, along with various services, arrived on the scene and found the wrecked trains blocking the tracks completely,” said Russel Meiring, spokesman for the ER24 paramedic group.

“Bent metal and parts of the train had been spread across the scene.”

The trapped woman was transported by helicopter to hospital after being rescued.

The last major rail accident in South Africa was in July last year when two trains crashed into each other in the eastern coastal city of Durban, injuring around 80 people.

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