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More delays for Cape train commuters

Cape Town - Commuters should brace themselves for major delays on Wednesday after a train derailed outside Mutual station on Tuesday night, Metrorail warned.

“It’s going to be hectic. Nothing less than an hour. About 100 train rides will operate on one central line. It’s very unfortunate but we’re asking for people’s patience and understanding,” Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said.

A train derailed at a Cape Town station after it hit a gantry, causing it to break and the power lines to fall. This caused major disruption at the station. File photo: Cindy Waxa. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

Tuesday night’s derailment had a knock-on effect on other trains and caused long delays on the Central line.

At Philippi, a group of angry commuters burnt three carriages after waiting for several hours for their train to move.

“People are angry. It is very unfortunate, but it is not a mistake by Metrorail,” said Swartz.

The derailment came after sewerage works near Mutual station had weakened the ground, he said. Metal clips to mitigate the impact of the works came loose and destabilised the tracks, resulting in the derailment, Swartz said. “Preliminary reports show vibrations caused the metal clips to loosen. That caused the train to destabilise and the train’s motor to fall to the ground. No one was injured.”

Commuters jumped off the stationary train and sought alternative transport home while those on another train did not know what had happened and were left stranded for about three hours.

“I am a woman! I want to go home! It is dangerous for me to be here. What is happening?” passenger Etthel Ganyh shouted.

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