Trains collide near Johannesburg, injuring more than 200 people

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Two passenger trains have collided near the city of Johannesburg in South Africa, injuring more than 220 people, local officials say. It comes just days after 19 people were killed in another train crash in South Africa.

The accident happened at 6:45 a.m. local time on Tuesday when two trains collided at the Geldenhuys Train Station in Germiston, a small city about 13 kilometers (8 miles) east of Johannesburg. Germiston is home to a major railway junction.

One of the carriages went off the railway tracks but did not overturn, according to Russel Meiring, a spokesman for ambulance service ER24. Footage from the scene showed that the collision was relatively minor and no major damage was visible on either train.

“ER24 paramedics, along with various other services, arrived on the scene to find scores of commuters walking around on the scene,” Meiring said. “Approximately 200 people were assessed and found to have sustained injuries ranging from minor to moderate. Fortunately, no fatalities were found on the scene.”

Nana Radebe, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Management Services in the City of Johannesburg, said 226 people were taken to area hospitals. Most of the victims suffered minor injuries, she said.

The cause of Tuesday’s accident was not immediately known, but it came just days after a train collided with a truck near Kroonstad in the Free State, killing 19 people and injuring more than 250 others.

South Africa’s ageing rail network is prone to serious accidents, in part because the vast majority of trains date back to the 1950s. The most serious accident in recent years happened in May 2011 when two trains collided in Johannesburg, injuring 857 people, three of them seriously.

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