The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says DNA testing will be used to identify bodies of the victims of the fatal Free State train crash, as many of them were burnt beyond recognition.
Prasa says family members of the deceased will be taken to the Kroonstad mortuary on Tuesday to begin the identification process.
Nineteen people were killed and over 200 injured when a Shosholoza Meyl train travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, collided with a truck before bursting into flames at a rail crossing between Hennenman and Kroonstad.
Four of the deceased remain unaccounted for.
Prasa spokesperson Sipho Sithole says, “Most of them, if not all of them, are [burnt] beyond recognition. So there will be a DNA identification process. What [will] happen is that the closest relative [of the deceased] will have their DNA taken so that they can try match the remains. That’s what basically is going to happen today. Psychologists will be on site so that they can prepare the mental and emotional stability of the families.”
This is the biggest accident in the history of @Shosholoza_Meyl. This was totally avoidable! Our condolences to all families affected. @PRASA_Group will give assistance and support to the affected families. Latest fatalities @16 and 254 injured @Premier_Classe1 pic.twitter.com/oIkf2WI1MG
— Mthura (@MthuraSwartz) January 4, 2018