PALAPYE: Four people died when a Mercedes Benz minibus collided with a Botswana Railways train at a rail cross near the Bobonong turn off from the A1 road some few kilometres from Palapye on Sunday.
According to Palapye station traffic officer, assistant superintendent Obonetse Tuelo, the minibus was travelling from Diepkloof in South Africa and was headed to Plumtree in Zimbabwe. Among the deceased is a seven-year-old boy.
The minibus had 12 passengers on board.
The surviving passengers were taken to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital, but only five, including the driver, are still hospitalised and reported to be in critical condition.
The police are yet to establish where the minibus passengers are from but according the police officer, they could be Zimbabwean nationals. The suspicion is that the accident was as a result of over-speeding.
“The minibus was coming out of a curve and the braking distance is too long and that causes us to suspect the driver of
Botswana Railways communications manager Kebabonye Morwaagae also confirmed that none of the 344 passengers in the train sustained any injuries.
He said the passengers had to be moved into the other train to continue with the journey. As a result of the accident the train schedules had to be delayed.
The luggage van that had derailed was by mid morning put back on track and it was taken to the workshop in Mahalapye.
“The extent of damage is not yet known but the luggage van has been taken to the workshop for repairs. Only the under frame of the affected van was damaged.”