The body of an electrocuted man hung from overhead power lines outside the Cape Town train station for three hours on Monday morning, visible to possibly thousands of people on their daily commute.
The tragic incident shocked train commuters who gasped as they saw the spectacle from the station and stood flabbergasted on the platform exclaiming at the sight as the man’s body could be clearly seen hanging where the roof covering the platforms ends.
According to Metrorail the man, who is believed to be homeless, was electrocuted on the lines at about 6am.
The man, who appeared to have fallen from the station deck, remained hanging on the cables until his body was brought down by forensic experts at around 9am after power to the lines was briefly cut.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said: “An unknown coloured male was allegedly electrocuted when he fell on overhead wires at Cape Town Station.”
She said initial information indicated that “he may have been one of the vagrants sleeping on the station deck who fell to his death onto the overhead high tension wires above platform 7”.
She said the incident happened at 6.14am and police were investigating the matter.
She requested eyewitnesses to contact the Rail Police on platform one at the Cape Town Station.
Scott said platforms seven and eight were closed during the morning for the police investigation and resulting in delays as trains from the southern suburbs had to be re-rerouted and accommodated on alternative platforms.
Last month a man was killed by a train at Ysterplaat train station, adding to concerns about what appears to be an increase in metro-rail related fatalities.
In March, Metrorail confirmed three fatalities from separate incidents in the Cape Town Metropole.
The rail operator has warned commuters to observe safety precautions.
Western Cape’s Regional Manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz expressed his condolences and said every effort would be made to trace the man’s family and to establish the circumstances under which he died.
The body was removed at 9.12 and traffic to the affected platforms resumed at about 9.30 after electricity had been restored. – Francis Hweshe