Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 16:20 UK

Rovos Rail train derails in South Africa: Two dead


Rohan Vos, Rovos Railways: "We had a lot of Americans on the train"

A luxury tourist train has derailed near the South African capital, Pretoria, killing at least two people and injuring at least 25 more.

The dead include a woman and her baby, who was born moments after the derailment, reports AFP news agency.

The train is run by Rovos Rail, which offers "unique train safaris" in its wood-panelled carriages, some of which have hot showers and air conditioning.

The nationalities of the casualties are not known.

It's absolute carnage
Chris Botha
Emergency worker

"We are dealing with a mixture of foreigners and South Africans," said Johan Pieterse, spokesperson for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), reports South Africa's Business Day.

A spokesperson for Rovos Rail told AFP that most of its customers were from Europe and the US.

Line closed

"It's absolute carnage," emergency worker Chris Botha told AFP.

"Some of the railway coaches are lying on top of each other and absolute wreckages.


"They had to use hydraulic rescue equipment to cut some of the people free," he said.

The train was carrying 55 passengers and had come from Cape Town.

The derailment occurred outside the Blue Train depot in Pretoria, says AFP.

The Blue Train is another luxury tourist train which runs between Cape Town and Pretoria, but only Rovos Rail uses restored antique trains.

Safety inspectors told AFP that it appeared the accident happened during the switch from an electric locomotive to the steam engine Rovos Rail sometimes uses to pull its carriages.

The part of the line affected by the accident has been closed until further notice.

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Brisbane Times 'Absolute carnage' as luxury train derails - 24 hrs ago
Cape TimesTwo die in Rovos Rail smash - 26 hrs ago
Philippine Daily Inquirer S. African luxury train derails, killing two - 30 hrs ago
Financial TimesThree dead in South African rail crash - 30 hrs ago
Times Live South Africa Luxury train horror - 31 hrs ago
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