27 killed in South Africa train crash

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The Independent Online

At least 27 people died today when a train smashed into a truck pulling a trailer packed with farm workers at a railway crossing near Cape Town in South Africa.

The victims, who worked for a local wine farm, were on the back of the truck, said Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha.

He said three people were in critical condition, while another three were described as being in serious condition.

The count of victims rose as more bodies were pulled out of the wreckage.

"There were 27 dead at the last count," Botha said.

Metrorail, the company operating the commuter train, said the accident happened at 7.16am "when a truck and trailer carrying about 30 farm workers collided with Cape Town-bound train 3208" just outside the suburb of Somerset West.

"According to eyewitnesses, the truck stalled at the crossing," it said in a statement.

No rail commuters were injured in the accident, the rail company said.

It said the level crossing did not have barriers, but conformed to legal requirements for warning signs.