Cape Town - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) 24-hour Walk-In Centre opened on Monday at Umjantshi House in Johannesburg and has already helped more than a hundred families affected by the train accident on 4 January.
Jointly managed by the Department of Transport (DoT) and Prasa, and supported by the Road Accident Fund and the Road Traffic Management Corporation, the centre aims to assist those affected by the accident, either from injury as a passenger or as a family member of one of the 19 who died in the tragedy.
SEE: Prasa establishes support centre after fatal Kroonstad train crash
On Monday they processed almost 100 family members, and already 43 on Tuesday. Queries ranged from lost luggage to medical related inquiries and claims.
All transport entities had concluded a meeting with about 50 family members of the deceased to discuss the processes, and on Tuesday 9 January Prasa and the DoT will accompany these families to Kroonstad to identify their next of kin and to submit DNA testing for verification.
ALSO SEE: Kroonstad train crash: Search and Rescue operations halted
“We would like to urge the families to have the closest next of kin available for the DNA testing to ensure accurate results. We are aware of the trauma that the families have already endured. This is why we have provided all the necessary counselling and psychological support, but we are keenly aware of the pain the families are going through,” says Acting Group CEO Cromet Molepo.
On 4 January Prasa's long distance passenger train, the Shosholoza Meyl, collided with a truck in Kroonstad, hospitalising 164 passengers and killing 19. Blame has been put on the truck driver by the Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.
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