More remains found at Kroonstad train crash scene

File: Prasa, in statement said, it was concerned that only the remains of 21 people had been recovered by investigators. Photo: AFP / Wikus de Wet

JOHANNESBURG – More human remains have been found during the final stages of recovery operations following a deadly December rain crossing crash, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) revealed on Wednesday.

A long-distance passenger train last year collided into a truck attempting an illegal turn near Kroonstad in the Free State, killing at least 21 and injuring several others.

Prasa, in statement said, it was concerned that only the remains of 21 people had been recovered by investigators.

Five families had come forward to report missing family members.

Explaining the frustration, Prasa’s Sipho Sithole said: “For the past few weeks, we have been concerned that the numbers do not tally with the enquiries logged by our staff at the walk-in centre we set up…”

“Whilst we understood and had always communicated that 21 bodies were in the morgue and that only 19 remains had been successfully matched through the DNA testing process, it has been puzzling to us that we could not account for the other three bodies when a total of five families still reported missing loved ones. We are now engaging with the police and forensic investigators to establish exactly what could have happened,” he said.

Sithole further explained that until more DNA tests had been conducted, it would be difficult to establish whether these were new bodies discovered.

READ: DNA results of Kroonstad train casualties to be released

“We have already informed the affected families that, maybe with God’s grace, these could be the remains of their loved ones,” Sithole added.

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