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Limited train service after fire at Cape Town station causes temporary suspension in region

Published Nov 28, 2019

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Cape Town – Metrorail has lifted the temporary suspension of all train services in the Western Cape after a fire at Cape Town station on Thursday morning – but only a limited service will apply.

The City's Fire and Rescue Service were called to respond to the blaze on platforms 10 and 16.at 2.20am. The fire soon spread to adjacent platforms, destroying two full train sets comprising 18 carriages and was extinguished at 4.53am. 

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Cape Town station was subsequently closed temporarily and the entire regional train service suspended.

"Firefighters battled to contain the blaze and most platforms are still covered in debris and water. The concourse and offices are filled with smoke from the incident. No injuries have been reported," Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said. 

"Cape Town station had to be closed initially but some platforms were reopened at 7am. A large part of the main concourse remains closed until the teams have completed mop-up operations. 

"The temporary suspension of all train services has been lifted and a limited service will apply with the following arrangements:

* Platforms 1-8 will accommodate trains from the south.

* Platforms 20 -24 will accommodate trains from the north and Lavistown. 

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"Commuters are advised to listen to announcements, follow social media channels and share information with fellow commuters. Customer Services employees are assisting customers at the platforms.

"Law enforcement and investigative teams are still on-site – early indications are that an accelerant was used. The burnt trains will be moved to the depot for assessment by Prasa’s loss adjusters later today to determine the cost of the damage. 

"Thereafter technical and recovery teams will move in to assess the integrity of underlying and overhead infrastructure. 

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"The full extent and cost estimate of the damage will only be known once PRASA’s loss adjusters have had opportunity to assess the damage."

The City of Cape Town said: "At 02:20 this morning, the City's Fire and Rescue Service responded to train carriages alight at Cape Town railway station.

"The first arriving crews from Roeland Street fire (station) confirmed train carriages alight on platforms 9 and 10.  

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"Upon further investigation it was found (there were) fires on platforms 12, 13 and 15 as well and more resources were requested to contain the blaze.

"A number of motor coaches and passenger coaches were destroyed and the fire was extinguished at 04:53.

"No injuries were reported and the scene was handed over to the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa."

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/MetroRail?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MetroRail(Update): FIRE at Cape Town Station - regional train services are SUSPENDED via @ShaneJeremy1 pic.twitter.com/Q6gwiXwAMj

— Rob Beezy (@TrafficSA)

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