• Editor's note: This article is updated each time new information becomes available.
JOHANNESBURG – Eighteen people have been confirmed as having burned to death in a collision involving a train and a truck in Kroonstad in the Free State.
Hundreds of people were injured in the incident which Prasa is describing as a tragic day.
According to the Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, the truck driver involved in the accident was "taking chances", which has resulted in the loss of lives.
Passenger Seipati Moletsane said the train was traveling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg when the truck could not brake and hit the first and second carriage.
Footage by passengers from the scene shows a number of Shosholoza Meyl carriages engulfed in flames.
BREAKING NEWS: Shosholoza Meyl on fire. The accident occurred between Hennenman and Kroonstad in the Free state. @eNCA @volksbladnuus @Netwerk24 @News24 @VistaNews1 @SABreakingNews @SABCNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/PYHpOiDbiA— City Of Welkom (@CityOfWelkom) January 4, 2018
ER24, and other services, on scene of a train accident between Hennenman and Kroonstad, FS. Initial reports of approximately 100 patients. Further updates to follow. @ewnupdates @eNCA @OFMNews9497 @jour_maine @SABCNewsOnline @_ArriveAlive @JacaNews— ER24 EMS (Pty) Ltd. (@ER24EMS) January 4, 2018
Thu, 04 January— Bloemfontein Medics (@BFN_EMS) January 4, 2018
Free State Hennenman / Kroonstad: A train has gone off the rails on the road between Hennenman and Kroonstad. A bit of smoke in that area, please drive cautiously. @_ArriveAlive @HALO_Aviation @fs_health @Netcare911_sa @ER24EMS
Passengers who are able to travel are being transported to Johannesburg by busses.
Families who had loved ones onboard the train travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg can call the 24 hour line on 011 544 9623. Officials will be able to assist with names and hospital admissions.
We are still at the scene of the #TrainCrash, two more bodies were retrieved from the wreckage. Prasa officials on the ground now put the death toll at 16— Sikelelwa Mdingi (@SikiGeyaMdingi) January 4, 2018