Metrorail trains go up in flames

2019-04-23 06:00

The prototype of a planned new fleet for Metrorail, which President Cyril Ramaphosa recently attended the launch of, was not damaged during a blaze on Sunday 21 April at Cape Town train station in the Central Business District.

The blue and white prototypes of trains, expected to replace the ageing sets, stood undamaged near the entrance to the station where two trains went up in flames.

Fire services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said a total of eight carriages were destroyed – four carriages on platform 13 and another four on platform 14.

He explained that three fire engines, a water tanker and a rescue vehicle were sent to the station just before 16:00 to contain the fire.

There were no injuries reported and the cause of the fire is not known yet.

Carelse said an investigation into possible arson will be left up to the SA Police Services and the Passenger Rail Services of South Africa.

The ANC in the Western Cape described the incident as “sabotage” and urged the police to swiftly arrest those responsible.

“These trains belong to the nation of South Africa. Setting them on fire is a crime against the people.

“There is nothing to justify such a crime,” said ANC Western Cape secretary, Faiez Jacobs, in a statement.

“The perpetrators should be charged, brought to court, convicted and given the maximum prison sentences that can be imposed for these crimes.

“A clear message must be sent out that our nation will not allow sabotage to go unpunished,” he said.

Huge palls of black smoke spread throughout the city centre, carried by strong winds with the smell of burnt plastic and rubber permeating in the air.

-Jenny Evans, News24


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