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12-Year-old boys hailed as heroes for helping Kroonstad train crash victims get to safety

2 min read

Good Stuff
Source: YouTube/ENCA

A video of two young friends, Mokoni Chaka & Evert du Preez, who behaved like true heroes after Thursday’s horrific train smash, is going viral as it shows the very best of South African youth.

When the boys witnessed a tragic train crash, they overcame fear and rushed to help victims escape

South Africans are celebrating two 12-year-old friends who helped rescue babies and elderly from the devastating train crash near Kroonstad. Evert du Preez and Mokoni Chaka, despite both being only 12 years old, put aside any fears for personal safety and stepped up when the time came to help the victims of the crash escape from the mangled and dangerous wreckage.

Mokoni Chaka and Evert du Preez nominated to receive official recognition for their bravery After these boys witnessed a tragic train crash, instead of being bystanders they risked their lives to help victims in any way they could. Source: Facebook/BrightVibesAfrica

Parents still trapped inside the train handed their babies over to the boys

At least 19 people were tragically killed and almost 270 injured on Thursday morning in South Africa, when a passenger train collided with a truck and caught fire, between Hennenman and Kroonstad in the Free State.

Megan Ellis, for reported — The train had collided with a truck that had ignored the railway stop sign. Despite applying emergency brakes, the train could not stop in time. 

Parents who were still trapped inside the wreckage of the train handed their babies over to the boys, 12-year-olds Mokoni Chaka and Evert du Preez, who took them to safety. Some panicked mothers even threw their babies from the train, to save them from the fire that had started. 

The two boys, along with other people who had witnessed the crash, tried to help where possible. However, the mangled wreckage prevented escape for some people and a total of 19 people died in the train crash – most, if not all deaths were due to the fire.

A video of the boys speaking to an eNCA reporter went viral. In the video, both boys speak Sesotho — the South Sotho language of the Basotho people, an official language in Lesotho and South Africa, with over 5 million speakers — but their comments have also been translated into English. The boys have been hailed as heroes for their bravery.

Investigations into the train crash have been launched. The tragedy has proved devastating for the victims and their families. South Africans have come together and expressed admiration for those who overcame their fear to help those in need.


Online support growing for lifelong buddies Mokoni Chaka and Evert du Preez to receive award “I saw the train hit the car people jump out of windows. When I got there I helped people.” Said Mokoni Chaka. “I saw the train blowing steam before the flames appeared. I helped the young kids get to the ambulance, the elderly and grannies too. Some women threw their kids to me.” Said his friend Evert du Preez. Source:
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