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WC authorities call for emergency assistance after latest train fires

Eight carriages were destroyed on platforms 17 and 18 at Cape Town station on Tuesday.

Six train carriages at platforms 17 and 18 at Cape Town station were damaged in a fire on 9 October 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Provincial and local government are calling on Transport Minister Blade Nzimande for emergency assistance after two trains were set alight.

Eight carriages were destroyed on platforms 17 and 18 at Cape Town station on Tuesday.

This brings the total number of train fires in the city to over a dozen this year.

Metrorail commuters are demanding answers from the rail services on safety plans following yesterday's fire.

Commuters say they have to constantly deal with delays, cancellations and poor security on trains daily.

"I don't think that there are any security guards here or guards that know what to do. I mean to burn two trains like this is ridiculous. It costs them a lot of money and they're not thinking about the commuter," one man said.

While authorities were mopping up the scene, services in and out of Cape Town were suspended. It is back in service again.

Meanwhile, the provincial Transport Department's Jandré Bakker says that there seems to be a pattern of occurrences of arson whenever senior officials or politicians meet in the area.

"We find this extremely concerning because it is as if the timing is deliberate. The situation simply cannot continue."

The City of Cape Town's Brett Herron says that his calls to declare a state of emergency due to the sabotage and attacks have fallen on deaf ears.

WATCH: Metrorail's woes continue as 2 more trains burn at Cape Town Station

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