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Train carriage burnt in Cape Town

Firefighters responded to retreat station on Wednesday night where a train carriage was burning.

Picture: freeimages.com.

CAPE TOWN - A train has been damaged in a fire in Cape Town.

Firefighters responded to retreat station on Wednesday night where a train carriage was burning.

The cause of the fire has not been established.

Fire and rescue services' Jermaine Carelse said: “The fire was extinguished. No one was on board the train and it was handed to the police.”

Attacks on trains have escalated in recent years and arsonists are usually to blame.

Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said he would meet with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula next week in an ongoing effort to address train arson.

Madikizela said he remained committed to working with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Mbalula who, on Wednesday, revealed the Prasa ‘war room’ would be wound down as it had revealed the challenges facing rail authorities.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) questioned the move.

Madikizela said he was deeply concerned by the frequency of train fires, which also had an impact on congestion on the roads as train commuters opted for alternative modes of transport.

Meanwhile, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said it was essential that those responsible for the fire to be brought to book.

Fritz said he had reported the issue of police inefficiency in investigating train arson to the provincial police ombudsman.