Friday, September 13, 2019

Bellville train derailment 'could've been prevented if Ramaphosa kept promise’

At about 6.08 yesterday, two passenger coaches and a motor coach derailed on the Kuils River side of Bellville station on the Northern Line. The train derailment of a Cape Town-bound train at Bellville station are being investigated by Metrorail that left 42 passengers injured. 

Riana Scott, Metrorail spokesperson said the recovery of the three carriages involved in the derailment was complete. “Forty-two commuters received on-site treatment by emergency personnel for minor injuries. The rail network is stable and trains are operating as scheduled, subject to prevailing operational measures, i.e. speed restrictions and manual authorisation in some sections of the network. The cause of the incident is being investigated to determine corrective and preventative measures,” said Scott.

The Northern line was reopened after technical crews finished a safety assessment of the overhead infrastructure and rail tracks. Metrorail recovery crews and emergency services remained on-site to help passengers and recovery efforts. Steve Harris, general secretary, United National Transport Union (Untu) said: “Although no commuters were seriously injured, this derailment could have been prevented had President Cyril Ramaphosa kept to the personal promise he made to Untu a month prior to the election.

“The president gave a personal undertaking to consider Untu’s demands about the safety of passenger rail commuters, its members working for the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).” Harris said the incident happened a mere three days after the union informed South Africans that the recently launched “war rooms” had to date had zero impact at ground level.

Unique Fillander, Western Cape Commuters Forum chairperson said: “Prasa has failed the commuters for decades, but it is worse since (they took) over from Metrorail.

By: Ellouise Muller

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