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Untu to force Prasa & govt to improve rail safety measures

This comes in the wake of yet another train fire in Cape Town. On Friday, a train was set alight near Paarl.

A Metrorail train arrives at the Cape Town station. Picture: @CapeTownTrains/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Untu) plans to approach the courts to force the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and government to improve safety measures on trains in a bid to protect rail workers and commuters.

This comes in the wake of yet another train fire in Cape Town. On Friday, a train was set alight near Paarl.

It’s the eighth such incident in as many months.

At least five train carriages were gutted following Friday night's blaze.

According to Metrorail, the train was stationed between Dal Josafat and Huguenot Station after experiencing technical problems. It was then set alight.

At this stage, the estimated damages are around R19 million.

Metrorail spokesperson Zinho Mihi said: “Two first-class motor coaches and three plain trailers, from first-class as well, were completely burned out. The fire brigade, police and Metrorail technicians were on the scene to extinguish the blaze.”

Two weeks ago, a man died on the same route when a group of armed men attacked commuters between Lynedoch and Eerste River.

Eight other male passengers were injured in the incident.

Untu Sonja Casterns says these incidents are worrying.

“We can’t continue like this, this is simply unacceptable. We are at the end of the road [and] government seems to think that they have no obligation towards commuters and our members.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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