Flooded sub­way putting com­muters at risk

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BRONWYN DAVIDS

SINCE the mid­dle of last month, com­muters cross­ing from one side of Wet­ton train sta­tion to the other have placed their lives at risk.

They claim they’ve been forced to cross the train tracks or jump from one slip­pery step­ping stone to the other to en­ter the sta­tion – as a re­sult of a per­sis­tently flooded sub­way.

Com­muter Al­fonso Me­d­ina said the main sub­way at Wet­ton sta­tion had been flooded since the mid­dle of last month, and Metro­rail had done noth­ing to re­pair the struc­ture to pre­vent flood­ing.

“Be­cause of this we all have to cross the rail­way, ei­ther walk­ing to­wards the ends of the plat­forms or just cross­ing any­where. It is risky to cross over the tracks be­cause the train comes around the bend from Lans­downe sta­tion, just about 200m from where peo­ple cross the rail­way.

“Peo­ple rush­ing to catch the train or to buy a ticket and who don’t see the train com­ing, (and) any­thing can hap­pen. The train would not be able to stop. It is dis­grace­ful and dan- ger­ous,” said Me­d­ina.

Michael Thorn­ton, who has worked at the in­dus­trial park over­look­ing the sub­way for 21 years, said the sub­way flooded ev­ery win­ter and con­tin­ued to stay that way un­til Metro­rail em­ploy­ees pumped out the wa­ter.

“The peo­ple com­ing from Cape Town are safe when they get off but the peo­ple who come in from Re­treat have to get off the plat­form and cross the line to get to this side. And the same hap­pens for peo­ple go­ing to Cape Town from this side of the line,” said Thorn­ton.

He added that it was safer to cross the line dur­ing the day, but the early morn­ing hours made the trek in­creas­ingly dan­ger­ous as a re­sult of the dark­ness.

An­other com­muter, Amanda Matemba, on her way to Re­treat said she never crossed the lines but jumped on the step­ping stones, while her friend Busie Siqusu added she al­ways crossed over the lines.

Me­d­ina said the guards tried to stop peo­ple from cross­ing the rail by urg­ing com­muters to brave the step­ping stones across the flooded wa­ter.

The sec­ond sub­way sta­tion could not be used as it was com­pletely flooded and did not have any step­ping stones for peo­ple to bal­ance.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, Metro­rail work­ers ar­rived to pump the wa­ter out of the main sub­way. Nu­mer­ous at­tempts by Week­end Argus to con­tact Metro­rail man­age­ment, went unan­swered.

PIC­TURES: AYANDA NDAMANE

Wet­ton train sta­tion sub­way is flooded and peo­ple are putting their lives at risk by cross­ing rail­way lines il­le­gally to avoid walk­ing through the wa­ter.

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