The death toll is still uncertain as investigations continue at the tragic train crash site between Hennenman and Kroonstad.
The collision between a bus and a Shosholoza Meyl train left 18 passengers dead and more than 200 people injured.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said that they could not conclude the exact number of deaths because of the state that the bodies were in when they were retrieved.
Family members were at the scene on Friday afternoon in search of their loved ones.
The train was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg when the incident occurred.
Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi said that the accident was caused by the truck, which failed to stop at the railway intersection.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that the derailment was caused by the truck which untimely crossed the level crossing,” said Maswanganyi in a statement.
The minister said seven carriages, including a power car that helped with the generation of power in the train, were damaged
Makhele said a culpable homicide case had been opened – not against the truck driver but on the incident as a whole.
DA spokesperson on transport Manny de Freitas claimed the collision could have been avoided.
“The lack of booms and other security measures at level crossings, closing off of rail lines and controls allowed a truck driver to illegally cross the rail lines which he shouldn’t have.
“Metrorail continues to ignore the basics, such as maintaining security fences running along rail lines and ensuring that signalling systems are maintained so that early warning systems are in place that will prevent such collisions,” said De Freitas.
Shosholoza Meyl communicated via social media that the train line would be closed for an estimated 36 hours amid repairs.