A Cape Town-bound train pulled into Ottery station today billowing smoke and flames – the second such incident in a week.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott confirmed the fire was reported at 8.48am and said two people were injured.
The train crew uncoupled the burning carriages from rest of the train to contain the fire and passengers were evacuated.
Emergency services and the fire brigade arrived on the scene, and the high-voltage overhead lines were switched off.
Ms Scott said the Cape Flats service (both lines) was suspended temporarily while the scene was cleared and police investigated, and buses would operate between Wetton and Ottery.
“Final mopping up operations will commence as soon as forensic teams have completed their investigation,” said Ms Scott.
The two damaged carriages would be taken to the depot for further investigation and assessment by loss adjusters from the Public Rail Agency of South Arica.
“The cause of the fire and estimate of damage will be assessed during post-incident investigations,” said Ms Scott.
This fire comes a week after two Metrorail carriages were gutted in a suspected arson attack on a Simon’s Town-bound train on Tuesday May 22.
Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said a preliminary investigation of that incident had ruled out electrical or technical faults as the possible cause of the fire.
“Torching trains is intentional sabotage of state assets and directly impacts on the ability of hard-working commuters to affordably travel between home and work. It is a senseless and selfish act, which could have led to injuries or even loss of life,” said Mr Walker.
Metrorail asks that anyone with information or footage of the event contact the police. All leads would be handled confidentially, it said.
Rewards of up to R25 000 are payable for information leading to successful convictions. The Metrorail Protection Services hotline is 021 449 4336/5056.