32 train coaches damaged by arson in July alone – Metrorail

33 suspects were arrested for various offences on WCape property

32 train coaches damaged by arson in July alone – Metrorail

1 August 2018

An alleged arsonist is one of more than 30 people who have been arrested for a range of crimes committed on Metrorail Western Cape property in July, the rail service provider said on Wednesday.

Last month three incidents where fire was set to infrastructure, affecting four platforms, were recorded.

A total of 32 coaches were damaged in July as a result of arson.

Between 2015 and 2017, 118 were damaged.

A suspect was nabbed on Tuesday by police and Metrorail's protection services officials, after a fire was started at Cape Town station at about noon.

Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said the officials pursued the suspect after they had been alerted by eyewitnesses.

"The attempt happened as we were meeting with top police officers in their Cape Town control centre about the security plan," he said.

The incident took place minutes after platforms 13 and 14 were reopened after Saturday's fire which saw two carriages damaged.

The train on Tuesday had been empty and stationed at platform 11.

According to Metrorail, employees managed to extinguish the fire, started on a seat, before significant damage could be done.

Walker said Metrorail had received more intelligence since March this year than ever before.

Among the offences for which 33 suspects were apprehended were malicious damage to property, robbery and cable theft.