Sun, 01 Aug 2021

City of Cape Town firefighters were battling a massive blaze on Monday afternoon at Athlone train station.

The section of the station has been occupied by homeless people and was set alight.

The City's Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said fire crews from Salt River and Ottery was at the scene.

"The ticket office at Athlone railway station was set alight. Homeless people have been occupying it. Apparently, one set the place alight and absconded. An adult female was treated for smoke inhalation."

He added the fire was extinguished, saying the woman's partner allegedly set the place alight.

Firefighters were alerted to a fire at the Athlone railway station on Monday afternoonFirefighters were alerted to a fire at the Athlone railway station on Monday afternoonFirefighters were alerted to a fire at the Athlone railway station on Monday afternoonFirefighters were alerted to a fire at the AthloneFirefighters were alerted to a fire at the Athlone railway station on Monday afternoonNews24 Senior Firefighter Charlton Engelbrecht

The City's portfolio committee chairperson for transport, councillor Angus McKenzie, said the railway system was collapsing.

READ | SA's trains vandalised during lockdown because of 'collapse of security', says Mbalula

"It's one of the situations of many across our railway network that is seeing a once successful railway system collapse before our eyes. The long-term effects of this collapse will be felt in our economy with many losing jobs because our railway system must function in our city."

Mckenzie added more needed to be done where maintenance and protecting state-owned infrastructure was concerned.

"As long as this situation continues where infrastructure is being vandalised, looted and destroyed, we will see a negative growth rate in our economy. It is crucial that those responsible for maintaining this infrastructure acknowledges the impact this has on people's lives," he said.

Source: News24

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