A SPEEDING freight train derailed between Cottondale and Songeni, outside Acornhoek near Bushbuckridge on Sunday.

It sent 23 wagons flying. The wagons ploughed about 30m away from the railway line, spilling magnetite.

Luckily, no injuries were reported.

The rail line is temporarily closed as it was badly damaged. Villagers said they were grateful that they were not hurt.

“We had just gone to bed when we suddenly heard a loud bang.

“We saw magnetite scattered all over the bushes and on the rail lines,” said resident Lebogang Seale (56).

Transnet Freight Rail spokesman Mike Asefovitz confirmed the incident.

“The freight train was from Palabora Mining Company in Limpopo and heading to Richards Bay in the KZN North coast when the wagons ferrying magnetite derailed.

“Our engineers are currently progressing very well in clearing the derailment site and repairing the damaged rail line,” Asefovitz told Daily Sun.

He said the rail line was expected to be opened this afternoon.