Two trains caught fire at the Cape Town station this afternoon.
It’s not yet clear what caused the fires.
Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Edward Bosch said, “At approximately 12:20 this afternoon, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service responded to a train well alight at Cape Town railway station. Upon arrival we found that two trains, with three carriages each, on platform 17 and 18 were alight. There are reports that the offices above the station deck are affected, but firefighters on scene are currently investigating.”
The latest incidents come as Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is appearing before Parliament, with a focus on the torching of trains and other challenges.
Prasa group CEO Sibusiso Sithole told MPs that it had suffered a loss of R636 million due to trains going up in flames in the past 3.5 years.
The Western Cape is the highest contributor to the losses with R451.6 million.
Meanwhile, Metrorail says preliminary investigation suggests that eight carriages have been lost.
The ticket office on the Parade Concourse also suffered fire damage.
Metrorail says platforms 17 and 18 will remain closed until the burnt trains are removed.
The rail company says a preliminary investigation also revealed that the overhead electrical wiring above the two platforms has been damaged. A structural team will assess the damage after the scene has been cleared.
Train services will be disrupted. Commuters are advised to consult the region’s passenger information channels for platform changes and revised operating schedules.