Bellville train derailment 'could've been prevented if Ramaphosa kept promise'
Yesterday at about 6.08am, two passenger coaches and a motor coach derailed on the Kuils River side of Bellville station on the Northern Line.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said the recovery of the three carriages involved in the derailment was complete.
“Forty-two commuters received on-site treatment by emergency personnel for minor injuries. The rail network is stable and trains are operating as scheduled, subject to prevailing operational measures, i.e. speed restrictions and manual authorisation in some sections of the network. The cause of the incident is being investigated to determine corrective and preventative measures,” said Scott.
The line was reopened after technical crews completed a safety assessment of the overhead infrastructure and rail tracks.
The incident impacted the morning peak service, causing Wellington and Kraaifontein trains to be re-routed via Monte Vista. Lavistown line trains were temporarily suspended.
Emergency services and Metrorail recovery crews remained on-site to assist passengers and recovery efforts.
United National Transport Union (Untu) general secretary Steve Harris said: “Although no commuters were seriously injured, this derailment could have been prevented had President Cyril Ramaphosa kept to the personal promise he made to Untu a month prior to the election.
“The president gave a personal undertaking to consider Untu’s demands about the safety of passenger rail commuters, its members working for the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and finding solutions on how to rebuild the ruined state-owned enterprise.”
Harris said the incident happened a mere three days after the union informed South Africans that the recently launched “war rooms” had to date had zero impact at ground level.
Western Cape Commuters Forum chairperson Unique Fillander said: “Prasa has failed the commuters for decades, but it’s worse since (they took) over from Metrorail.
“All we are saying is that they must respect the commuters and invest more on new rails and have buses included... in case of emergency so that commuters do not suffer. We want to see changes and progress.”