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Cape Town - A schoolboy was killed by a train on Tuesday morning near Sarepta station in Kuils River.
Shortly before 7am a 16-year-old was hit by a train and died.
Metrorail’s communications department said the boy “failed to notice an oncoming train in his haste to cross the railway tracks”.
“Signal problems reported at Bellville also contributed to delays and necessitated a bus service be instituted between Sarepta-Bellville-Eerste River to assist commuters affected by the incidents,” Metrorail said.
Regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz expressed his condolences to the pupil’s family.
“This tragedy is the worst news that any parent can receive – all of us hold the family in our hearts as they come to terms with this senseless death,” he said.
Swartz urged people to take “utmost care” when crossing railway tracks and reiterated that people should use only authorised crossings, such as subways and overhead bridges, for their own safety.
Trains travelled with headlights on at all times and sounded their sirens to warn potential trespassers.
Swartz apologised for the delays and said Metrorail was “acutely aware” of the impact of cancellations on commuters.
“Some train sets are scheduled for night maintenance – this means that technicians can only confirm early the next morning whether the train is fit to be returned to service. Others develop technical problems on the morning despite being tested the night before or break down in service,” Swartz said.
Metrorail had a limited number of spare sets available to replace those cancelled. Swartz said they also battled with ageing infrastructure.
* The provincial education examinations department said it had not received any reports about late-coming due to train problems.
spokeswoman Bronagh Casey said: “In terms of the regulations, candidates may be admitted into an examination room provided they arrive within one hour of the exam starting. However, a learner arriving within the one-hour period will still have the same time-frame as other candidates.”
In other words, a pupil who arrived 30 minutes late for a three-hour exam would have only two-and-a-half hours to complete it.
“Any later than one hour they will not be allowed to write and will have to take a supplementary,” Casey said.