Two trains on fire at Cape Town station

Cape Town chief fire officer Ian Schnetler confirmed that two trains‚ consisting of three carriages per train‚ were burning on platforms 17 and 18.
Cape Town chief fire officer Ian Schnetler confirmed that two trains‚ consisting of three carriages per train‚ were burning on platforms 17 and 18.
Image: Penny McOnie via Twitter

Thick clouds of black smoke poured out of Cape Town train station on Tuesday as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) briefed parliament about the burning of trains.

Eyewitnesses near the station posted images on Twitter of the smoke‚ billowing above the station.

Cape Town chief fire officer Ian Schnetler confirmed that two trains‚ consisting of three carriages per train‚ were burning on platforms 17 and 18.

Earlier on Tuesday‚ Prasa CEO Sibusiso Sithole told MPs sitting in parliament’s transport committee that it takes three months for the company to refurbish one train coach.

The burning of trains has resulted in a huge financial loss for Prasa‚ amounting to R636-million over the last three years‚ Sithole said‚ according to rolling updates supplied by the ANC Parliament Twitter account.

The company plans to expand CCTV monitoring and is liaising with police‚ amongst other measures to combat the criminality.

"We have realised that whenever we visit certain areas‚ like in the Western Cape‚ there’s always a train that gets burnt just before our visit. So we are working with crime intelligence as to why this happens‚" Sithole was quoted as saying.

This is a developing story.

Thick clouds of black smoke poured out of Cape Town train station on Tuesday October 9 2018 as two trains burnt yet again in Cape Town’s CBD.

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