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Cape Town assessing cause, aftermath of train and Table Mountain fires

The near-empty train was traveling between Century City and Kentemade stations when it caught alight late on Saturday afternoon while a fire broke out on Table Mountain.

Firefighter. Picture: @wo_fire/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Metrorail says it's working closely with police to establish the cause of a fire that destroyed six train coaches in Cape Town.

The near-empty train was traveling between Century City and Kentemade stations when it caught alight late on Saturday afternoon.

No injuries were reported.

The Monte Vista line has been closed, while authorities probe Saturday's fire, it will be re-opened once declared safe for train operations.

Metrorail's Richard Walker says they're waiting for assessors to determine the cost of damages.

He says the train departed from Bellville en-route to Cape Town, and after passengers disembarked at Century City Station the crew noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

This until they were alerted to a red signal, warning the crew there was a fire on board.

“There were passengers on the train but it was near the entry, so we had only a few passengers and they were able to safely evacuate the train.”

Residents in the Kensington area who live in close proximity to the railway line complained of dark grey smoke that left a foul stench hanging in the air for a while after the flames were doused.

At the same time, the City of Cape Town's fire and rescue service says no property has been damaged in the blaze that broke out on Table Mountain and Saturday night.

It’s understood the fire started on the slopes of the mountain above Philip Kgosana Drive.

The City's Jermain Carelse said, “In total there were 11 firefighting appliances and 65 fighters on scene. Table Mountain National Parks and Working on Fire assisted. Three choppers waterbombed the area for approximately one hour. The fire was extinguished at 12:40am and no point was any property in danger.”

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