From the news desk

13 escape train fire

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Thirteen passengers jumped off a Cape train when it caught fire near Wellington on Sunday. The train was travelling en route from Cape Town to Worcester. The train caught fire after an apparent electrical explosion at around 7pm at the Soetendal and Hebron stations.

“The electrical spark took place in the first motor coach and the coach filled up with smoke,” said Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott.

“People on board panicked and they jumped off the motor coach. Their reaction is understandable. This morning there will be a board of inquiry to establish what happened and then this morning as well.”

The emergency services were called to the scene and the injured passengers have been taken to hospital.

“The ambulance took thirteen people to hospital including the train driver where he was treated for smoke inhalation. The others were treated for people jumping out of a carriage these include bruises, sprained ankles and cuts,” said Scott.

Four people have been discharged already while the others were kept overnight for observation. The other passengers were transported home via bus services.

On Monday, there was a service between Wellington and Worcester to compensate for the inconvenience to commuters.  The train was taken to a depot where Metrorail is having the incident investigated under Metrorail’s state regulator. Transnet is said to form part of the investigation as the train was operating on a Transnet line at the time.

“The train will be back in operation by Monday afternoon, so the bus services will be a thing of the past,” Scott added.

She emphasized that the incident was not related to previous vandalism incidents. VOC

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