Metrorail guard injured after train catches fire due to suspected electrical fault
Cape Town - A Metrorail security guard has been injured and taken to the N1 City Hospital after a train travelling from Kraaifontein to Cape Town with commuters caught fire on Monday afternoon.
Metrorail spokesperson Zino Mihi said they suspected an electrical fault was the reason behind the fire. Mihi said there were commuters on the train but no injuries were reported, stating that only the guard injured his knee.
"One motor coach was burnt and one plain trailer partially burnt."
Mihi said and investigation is still under way to determine the cost of the damage.
Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said Fire Service crews positioned themselves in Townsend Road, Goodwood, in order to get access to the railway line.
Carelse said crews from Goodwood, Epping and Milnerton were dispatched. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
He said the swift reaction ensured that the damages were limited to a single carriage, and that the fire was extinguished at 7.12pm.
United National Transport Union spokesperson Sonja Carstens said according to the information they received it was an overarching cable that snapped due to ailing infrastructure, and it hit the top of the train at the tractor which then caught fire.
Carstens said there was no apparent vandalism involved, but only ailing infrastructure. "It is sad to see the state of our passenger rail in South Africa. We have continued our calls to President Cyril Ramaphosa to safeguard our infrastructure."
United Commuters Voice (UCV) spokesperson João Jardim said UCV was saddened to learn that a security guard was injured.
"We dare ask the question as to how safe are the electrical cabling along the lines. Is it plausible that vandals are also destroying electrical cables? The question is.. what is Metrorail doing to ensure that commuters are safe from being burnt alive or electrocuted," asked Jardim.
He said what was even more damning was that Metrorail had not bothered to inform or approach the UCV.