Six people were killed and seven were seriously injured when a freight train from Atlanta collided with a security vehicle a protected level crossing near Brits in the North West, a Transnet spokesman said on Saturday.

The freight train, loaded with lime collided with the train while the driver attempted to cross over at 7.15pm on Thursday, said spokesman John Dludlu.

“There was a queue of vehicles waiting for the train to pass. The security vehicle jumped the queue and attempted to beat the train. It failed to do this, resulting in the collision,” said Dludlu.

All six died at the scene while the injured were taken to a local hospital.

Dludlu said the railway line was cleared and opened 2:45am on Friday, adding that all the necessary level crossing signs comply fully with road traffic requirements.

“The relevant authorities have been notified and are investigating. We wish to express our condolences to the bereaved families and wish those injured a speedy recovery.”

The public was urged to observe traffic rules to avoid future accidents of this nature.