Train caught fire in Maitland

2017-06-15 15:18
This train was on fire at the Koeberg Railway Station in Maitland this morning.

This train was on fire at the Koeberg Railway Station in Maitland this morning. (Supplied)

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Two train carriages caught fire at the Koeberg Railway Station in Maitland this morning (15 June).

The City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service’s team was called to the scene. Spokesperson Theo Layne says the fire was extinguished within an hour. He says the cause of the fire is suspected to be arson.

Layne says: “Firefighters found two carriages alight on arrival. This is the same train that caught alight at Muldersvlei last night [which] was attended to by the Stellenbosch Municipality’s Fire and Rescue Service.”

This follows an incident where a train was reportedly burnt by the angry passengers on Monday (12 June) following train delays. According to reports the delays were caused by the overloaded electrical system that tripped and bought trains to a standstill.

Metrorail spokesperson, Riana Scott says an empty carriage at the depot was seen ablaze but the fire was immediately extinguished. She says the incident increased the number of fire damaged trains this week to nine.

She says Metrorail apologizes for the delay caused earlier this week which have resulted in drastic action taken by commuters on Monday evening.

“We empathise with commuters who were cold, late and hungry with families waiting at home. However, disruptions to the train service are not planned or orchestrated by Metrorail, but caused by external factors and as a result of obsolescence. Any planned maintenance happens off-peak and over week-ends to minimise any disruption or inconvenience to customers. Our focus is immediately operational, dispatching technicians to do repairs as soon as possible,” says Scott.

She adds: “Inconvenienced commuters have every right to express their disappointment, but regrettably criminal elements capitalise on these opportunities to create havoc as seen on Monday evening. Six retailers, three access gates and the concourse were damaged extensively by thugs and looters.”

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