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Suspected arson causes rail delays

Fire engulfed two trains at Stikland station. Photo: Solly Lottering

Fire engulfed two trains at Stikland station. Photo: Solly Lottering

Published Aug 8, 2011

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Flats commuters could once again be left stranded on Monday as Metrorail have their hands full after two trains were set alight.

On Friday night, four train carriages were destroyed in an apparent arson attack.

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Bellville-bound carriages caught fire at Stikland Station shortly before 9pm, leaving a motor coach and three plain trailers completely destroyed.

Stikland residents who witnessed the fire say it took firefighters close to an hour to douse the flames.

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott says the burning carriages were separated from the rest of the train.

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“The fire brigade and police were at hand to separate the burning carriages, the flames were doused soon afterwards. No injuries were reported,” she says.

In a statement, Metrorail Regional Manager Eddie Chinnappen says the incident will affect operations.

“Initial reports suggest that the fire may have been started deliberately. We’ll do [everything] to help police apprehend the guilty party should this prove to be damage to property,” he says.

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“The loss of four carriages will have a devastating effect on our commuters as demand is already exceeding supply.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday an electrical fault caused a section of motor coach to catch fire between Vlottenberg and Stellenbosch stations.

Scott says that no injuries were reported.

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Chinnappen warned that the loss of a second motor coach would impact on Metrorail services.

* This article was published on p2 of the Daily Voice

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