One train carriage caught alight on Tuesday morning at the Strand railway station, but was contained before more damage could be caused. Metrorail manager, Richard Walker, explained that the fire was caused by an electrical fault as the driver was conducting a power test.
“It was an electrical fault while the train driver was busy with a power test. An electrical shortage caused some sparks and a small fire. This was quickly extinguished by staff on the scene,” Walker told EWN.
The rail company has arranged buses to operate between Strand and Blackheath stations.
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City of Cape town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Theo Layne, confirmed that the fire was caused by an electrical fault. “The fire was contained to a single coach.”
Twelve firefighters also responded to the blaze, along with two fire engines and one water tanker.
It was reported that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is on the brink of financial collapse, as the agency confirmed that they had recorded a loss of almost a billion rand for the 2016/17 financial year.
According to the Auditor-General, Prasa’s operation is a going concern and is “questionable”. The group recorded a loss of R928-million, compared to R554-million the year before.
It also reported that it had only met 55% of its targets in its review to Parliament. Irregular expenditure was reported to amount to R20.3-billion, while wasteful expenditure amounted to just shy of a billion rand.