Angry commuters torch two Metrorail trains at kwaMnyandu

2013-02-01 00:00

AGITATED commuters yesterday morning torched Metrorail trains at kwaMnyandu, Durban, because of the frequent delays.

Metrorail spokesperson Thandi Mkhize said the delays were caused by cable theft at Duff Road.

One of the trains that were set alight was en route to Durban from Umlazi; the other was going the opposite direction.

“A group of agitated commuters attempted to force a train en route to Umlazi to turn around at kwaMnyandu. They then proceeded to torch the two trains while other commuters were on board,” she said.

Four coaches were gutted by the fire, which she said resulted in damage amounting to R40 million.

The commuters also tried to stone buses that were arranged to ferry commuters to their destinations, but were stopped by the police.

The incident created further delays as all trains destined for Umlazi were turned around at Reunion Station, and commuters were advised to make other arrangements.

The CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Mosenngwa Mofi, warned that Metrorail was determined to “throw the book” at those found guilty.

“[We] will lobby prosecuting authorities to charge them with wilful destruction of public property, economic sabotage and even attempted murder where people have been injured as a result of their actions,” he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said no cases had yet been opened, but the situation was being monitored.

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