26 July 2018

South Africa: Another Metrorail Train On Fire in Cape Town, Bringing the Number of Incidents to Five

Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp
Metrorail official walks passed a charred train carriage in Cape Town last week. It is one of several carriages damaged in arson attacks in recent weeks.

Yet another Metrorail train was in flames in Cape Town on Thursday - this time in Retreat.

It is the fifth such incident in Cape Town this year.

"Yes, we have confirmation that it is in Retreat," Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said.

Scott was still waiting for further details.

Fire spokesperson Theo Layne said in a message that three train carriages were on fire at Retreat railway station and that they were waiting for a technician to arrive to isolate electricity before the fire could be extinguished.

Fourteen firefighters had been sent to control the fire.

Retreat is south of Cape Town's CBD and it is near Muizenberg.

Thursday's incident follows one at Cape Town railway station on Saturday, when two coaches were burnt, and the platforms' cabling was damaged, amounting to a loss of at least R30m.

Nobody was injured on Saturday. The cause of that fire is still being established.

At the time, Passenger Rail Agency of SA spokesperson Nana Zenani said initial reports indicated that one train arrived at Platform 15 on Saturday while one of the coaches was already on fire.

Other reports suggested that the train was set alight when passengers disembarked as it arrived at the station.

When the burning train - which had been travelling from Muldersvlei - stopped, a stationary train at Platform 16 also caught alight.

Metrorail said it had worked tirelessly to repair cabling damaged during those fires to reopen the platforms on Tuesday afternoon to alleviate delays caused by the rerouting.

On Tuesday, during a visit to assess progress at platforms 15 and 16, Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said it was the fourth incident in Cape Town this year, making Thursday's the fifth.

One woman died and another was injured when a fire started on a train in Ottery in May.

Source: News24

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