City of Cape Town: Recent train fires were caused by arson

The first fire started after midday at Mbekeweni station near Paarl and two further incidents shortly after that at Firgrove station and Cape Town.

FILE: A Metrorail train on fire in Firgrove, Cape Town. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Preliminary investigations into three train station fires in the Western Cape reveal they were as a result of arson.

Six coaches were damaged and destroyed on Friday in three separate incidents where trains were set alight.

The first fire started after midday at Mbekeweni station near Paarl and two further incidents shortly after that at Firgrove station and Cape Town.

Metrorail says the latest train coaches lost because of train fires bring the number to 47 this year alone.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith says the new rail enforcement unit which will be tasked with beefing up railway security will start on 15 October.

“The fire department at the time strongly suggested that there was fire-setting involved and that has since been confirmed.”