A man has died after he was electrocuted on a train’s roof while apparently train surfing.
Commuters stared in horror at the smoking body of the 36-year-old unidentified man, believed to be from Mitchells Plain, lying on top of the Metrorail train yesterday.
The incident occured just after 7am between Netreg and Bonteheuwel stations, and brought the line, and thousands of commuters, to a standstill.
It’s believed the man got onto the train’s roof because it was full inside the carriage.
According to witnesses, people train-surfing is nothing new to the 9512 train from Kapteinsklip in Mitchells Plain.
“The 7.20am train is always overcrowded. Paying commuters even sit between the carriages, on the roof or hang out the doors. I have been waiting for something like this to happen,” says Zainup Castens, 39, from Valhalla Park.
“That poor man. He was hanging on the roof and I just saw sparks and smoke and the man’s whole body just rukked. He was frying.”
Prasa’s corporate affairs manager Zino Mihi confirms the incident, and said the man was declared dead at the scene due to electrocution.
She says: “There were delays of up to 50 minutes on the line, as there was also a cable theft incident between Nyanga and Heideveld.”
Mihi says they are investigating with police why the man was on the train’s roof.
“Metrorail management expressed their condolences to the family and friends of the man,” he says.
The police did not respond to queries by last night.
Metrorail has been criticised for its lack of trains, late trains, overcrowded carriages and lack of security in recent months.
On Tuesday morning, commuter Jeremy Marais, 32, from Scottsville fell out of a moving train in Kraaifontein.
His family blamed his death on the overcrowded trains.
Ganeefa Isaacs, 25 from Tafelsig says she had to send her boss a picture of the dead man on the train’s roof yesterday to explain why she was late, otherwise she would have gotten into trouble.
“I travel from Kapteinsklip everyday. My boss has warned me and I do not get paid if I am late. “’Metrofail’ must do something,” she fumes.