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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Many hurt in S Africa rail crash
A peak-hour train crash in South Africa has left 162 people injured, rail officials say.

A commuter train smashed into the back of a stranded train at Merafe station in Soweto, Johannesburg.

The accident occurred in darkness at 1910 local time (1710 GMT) as workers returned home from the city.

Some reports say a power failure had caused the first train to stall, but the Metrorail train company says the incident is still being investigated.

"We will only know later what the cause of the accident had been," Metrorail spokeswoman Thandi Mlangeni said.

Screaming

One passenger on the moving train, Tebogo Hlapane, told The Star newspaper that she thought a bomb had exploded.

"The lights went off. I fell to my knees, hitting my head. Everybody was screaming," Ms Hlapane said, as blood dripped from her face.

Reports say that the toll could have been higher, but most of the stationary train's passengers had already disembarked, and the moving train had started to slow down as it approached the station.

Metrorail trains provide an important link for commuters between Soweto's residential areas and central Johannesburg.

Each train typically carries about 1,000 passengers.




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