City official blames 'sinister force' after yet another Cape Town train torched

A train caught fire at Cape Town station on Saturday. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African NewsAgency (ANA)

A train caught fire at Cape Town station on Saturday. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African NewsAgency (ANA)

Published Jul 29, 2018


Cape Town - A week after a fire ripped through the train station in Cape Town damaging two platforms and two trains, a neighbouring platform was set alight, damaging more railway infrastructure on Saturday.

Metrorail’s Riana Scott confirmed that a fire broke out on platform 13 at 5.37pm yesterday evening, which affected the adjacent platform 14 - impacting on the Cape Flats line.

“Three carriages have been destroyed. Metrorail Protections Service, SAPS and a forensic team will be able to conduct their respective investigations thereafter,” she said

Earlier in the week, a train was also set alight at Retreat Station, damaging one train carriage, while another blaze broke out at the Cape Town station, damaging two trains on platform 15 and 16.

Scott said since May 2015, 149 carriages have been damaged in fires.

City’s Fire and Rescue service spokesperson Theo Layne said arson is suspected in the latest incident.

Meanwhile, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron, said it is undeniable that a “sinister force is at work” to destroy the railway system. He said the damage in Saturday’s fire would add to Metrorail’s cost to repair trains, considering last week’s damage amounted to R50million, but this attack will also reduce train capacity.

Herron said Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande and Donald Grant, the MEC of Transport and Public Works, met with the Passenger Rail Agency of SA on Friday, to discuss the recent train fires.

He said they visited the Salt River rail yard and were shocked by the large number of damaged trains.

“We need to join hands, train commuters with residents who do not need to use trains, and stop this.

“Someone must know something and they are failing our country and our democracy by keeping quiet.”

Anybody with information about the fires should call the Railway Police on 0214434325.

Weekend Argus