FILE PICTURE: David Ritchie/Cape Argus
Cape Town – Metrorail has increased its security presence between Kuils River and Bellville following the death of a commuter who was struck by a rock while travelling on a train.
Police say the 19-year-old woman died of her injuries at Bellville station on Saturday. An inquest docket has been opened for investigation.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott on Thursday said mobile patrols in the section had been increased and security guards on board trains had been asked to be aware of any unauthorised presence near the railway lines.
“We advise our customers to sit away from windows, or to ensure that windows are partially closed and all doors completely closed during transit, to prevent stones from entering the carriage,” she said.
Scott said their investigation did not reveal any additional information. “We appeal to any eyewitnesses to contact the police with information. Metrorail is awaiting the outcome of the police’s investigation.”
“Our records indicate that the incident happened on Saturday in the section between Kuils River and Bellville at about 5pm.”
“Emergency services were called to the scene and Bellville police are investigating. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed,” she added.
“The stoning of cars, buses and trains is often protest-related. Other incidents are random and sporadic, but more prevalent near informal settlements, which is difficult to proactively prevent,” she added.
Safety on Metrorail has been in the spotlight following reports of armed robberies and commuters being flung out of moving trains.
In January, a train driver drove with pieces of glass in his eyes to safety after an attacker shattered the front window of the train with a brick as he pulled into Du Toit railway station near Stellenbosch.
The driver had been driving past an informal settlement when he saw the attacker in front of him on the railway line.
Shards of glass went into his eyes and he had several cuts on his face and arms.