Johannesburg – A 19-year-old boy has become the latest statistic of the train-surfing scourge in and around Joburg.
The matric pupil died on Tuesday when his daredevil stunt of leaping in and out of a moving train went horribly wrong.
Known only as Loyiso, he was on his way to Orlando High School when the train surfing stunt turned fatal.
“He was jumping in and out when he unfortunately slipped and fell in between the platform and the train onto the tracks at Chiawelo railway station. He had multiple injuries,” said Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi.
“It was a group of boys surfing, and unfortunately one of them fell onto the tracks and his head was chopped off,” he said.
Authorities, notably Metrorail, have over the years been grappling with the problem of train surfing, which has become a popular pastime among young people.
Such has been its appeal among the youth that some of them have bonded into rival groups to compete against one another.
To others, it’s more about fun, thrills and status.
Some surf on top of the trains’ carriage roofs, risking being electrocuted by the high-voltage power lines overhead.
Loyiso’s tragic death has left his family, friends, schoolmates and paramedics traumatised.
At the Chiawelo station, a vendor said he was shocked by the sight of Loyiso’s mangled body.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. When the paramedics were removing his body, it was in two pieces,” he said.
Equally shocked were Loyiso’s schoolmates and friends, according to Mulaudzi, who had visited the accident scene.