‘Sinister force behind Cape Town train fires amid relentless attacks'

2018-07-28 22:55
The fire at Cape Town train station. (Wayne Dyason, City of Cape Town)

The fire at Cape Town train station. (Wayne Dyason, City of Cape Town)

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The recent spate of train fires in Cape Town are the result of criminal activity which must be urgently halted, said mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron as another fire broke out.

"It is undeniable that a sinister force is at work to completely destroy our rail system," Heron, the city’s member of the mayoral committee for transport and urban development, said in a statement on Saturday.

"Our commuter rail system is under relentless attack and this is clearly not opportunistic crime but a well orchestrated programme of sabotage."

SEE: Another fire breaks out at train station in Cape Town, arson suspected

On Saturday late afternoon, two carriages were set alight at Cape Town station in a suspected arson attack, according to the City’s fire and rescue spokesperson Theo Layne.

The fire broke out at approximately 17:40.

Heron detailed how over the past year, more than 140 carriages had been destroyed by fire.  This Saturday’s fire marks the sixth such incident in Cape Town this year and damage estimates are currently running into the tens of millions.

Heron said the most recent attacks were targeting the central line which had the "highest passenger demand" and was already operating "at a fraction of its capacity".

ALSO READ: Overcrowded, delayed and dangerous: Mom forced to pass baby through train window

On Friday, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande, Western Cape MEC for transport and public works Donald Grant and Heron met with Prasa to discuss the recent fires.

"We [also] met with SAPS who briefed us on their detective efforts and then visited the Salt River Rail Yard where we viewed the shocking extent of the fire damage."

Heron said the matter needed attention, "before the system collapses completely".

Battling the fire at Cape Town train station.(Wayne Dyason, City of Cape Town)

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Read more on:    metrorail  |  prasa  |  brett herron  |  cape town  |  fires

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