Gas cylinder fire which halted trains was ‘deliberate’

A gas cylinder fire which caused disruption to railway services near Exeter was believed to be ‘deliberate’. At around 8.05pm yesterday (May 16), Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was called to a cylinder fire on the footpath next to the railway line near St Clements Church, Powderham. Railway lines were blocked as a result of the incident and a spokesperson for Great Western Railway (GWR) warned of cancellations.

And in an update today, a spokesperson for DSFRS said it is believed the cylinder was set on fire deliberately. Speaking to Devon Live, a spokesperson said: “We were called at 8.05pm to a cylinder fire on the footpath next to the railway line near St Clements Church, Powderham. Four appliances plus special appliances attended the scene.

: Trains stopped as gas cylinder fire breaks out near Exeter railway tracks – recap “Crews used a jet to cool the cylinder while allowing it to vent at a safe distance. It is believed the cylinder was set on fire deliberately.”

In a statement yesterday, the Great Western Railway website said: “Due to a fire near the railway involving gas cylinders between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot all lines are blocked.” It states the impact as: “Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 21:30 16/05. “There is a gas cylinder on fire near the railway, posing a danger to trains.

Until the fire is made safe by the fire brigade, all trains are on stop. CrossCountry are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.” A later update said that disruption was expected until around 10.30pm.

One witness said: “Something serious down next to turf on the railway. Train stopped on the tracks and six fire engines along with hazardous chemicals truck and network rail response unit.” Another said: “There’s a fire between Starcross and Turf Locks.

Currently on the train, and we’ve been here for the past 20 mins, with no sign of continuing yet.” To recap on this incident click here.

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