The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) is investigating the collision at Buttskop Level Crossing in Blackheath, which claimed the lives of seven people this morning.
The regulator dispatched inspectors to the scene of the railway level crossing accident in the Western Cape, where a train collided with a bakkie at 05:46 this morning.
“The RSR inspectors are currently at the scene to conduct a preliminary investigation and to establish the root cause of the accident,” said the regulator.
The bakkie was following a taxi on Frederick Road, parallel to the railway track approaching Buttskop Level Crossing, which is protected by boom gates and flashing lights. As the train was approaching the crossing, the taxi drove across and the bakkie followed the taxi, but was hit by the train.
The regulator has extended its condolences to the affected families, while also appealing to the public and all road and rail users to always take safety precautions, follow the road rules and signage when approaching a railway level crossing.
“It is very sad and extremely concerning that this level crossing has yet again claimed the lives of road users. We need to redouble our efforts on our collaborations in enforcing the rail-road interface rules to ensure the safety of our people. One life lost is one life too many,” said RSR acting CEO Tshepo Kgare.
Friday’s accident at the level crossing happened as the country readied to commemorate the 24th anniversary of freedom.
The level crossing in 2010 claimed the lives of 10 children when the taxi they were travelling in was hit by a train.