Train dam­aged in fire at city sta­tion

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TANYA PETERSEN

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 yes­ter­day.

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 yes­ter­day’s fire would add to Metro­rail’s cost to re­pair trains, con­sid­er­ing last week’s da­m­age amounted to R50 mil­lion, 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 021 443 4325.

BREN­DAN MAGAAR/AFRICAN NEWSAGENCY (ANA) PIC­TURES:

A train caught fire at tCape Town sta­tion yes­ter­day.

Fire­fight­ers ex­tin­guished the flames of a burn­ing train at Cape Town sta­tion.

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