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Homes evacuated after ‘large diesel train’ catches fire near Llanelli

Written by on 27th August 2020

Policethis morning evacuated homes in Llangennech, close to Llanelli in Wales, due to a train fire.

The incident was reported at just before 11.20pm on Wednesday.
Three of the train’s carriages are on fire, according to the local fire service.
A 800m evacuation zone has been put in place around the “large diesel train”, with roads being closed in the local area.
Police have been contacting local residents and asking them to convene at Bryn School and Llangennech Community Centre.
Llangennech County Councillor Gary Jones said on Facebook that a “major incident” had been declared.
The public is being asked to avoid the area.
Superintendent Ross Evans said: “This is a fast-moving situation, which has been declared a major incident.
“There are a significant number of emergency services personnel at the scene, and an evacuation zone has been put in place.
“Officers are in contact with people within that area asking them to leave their homes, and we urge people to comply with officers’ requests to ensure a swift and efficient evacuation.
“We are working closely with our colleagues at British Transport Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Carmarthenshire Council, and Natural Resources Wales to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.”

Superintendent Andy Morgan said: “Overnight, officers from British Transport Police, Dyfed-Powys Police, the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, ambulance service and Carmarthenshire County Council dealt with a major incident on the railway line near Llangennech.

We have launched an investigation and will be assisting the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the exact circumstances behind the incident.

What we know is a freight train, carrying large amounts of diesel oil, caught fire and a number of its carriages also derailed. Thankfully, despite the clear danger, no injuries have been reported. The two members of railway staff operating the train were able raise the alarm and uncouple the locomotive and move it to a safe space.  

The fire was significant due to the quantity of fuel it was carrying and presented a possible danger to the wider community.

As a precaution, roads were shut, and Dyfed-Powys Police evacuated a large number of homes within a radius of the fire.

I believe around 300 people were affected and I’d like to thank everyone for their understanding and quick action in what must have been a frightening time.

At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown and, while the fire continues, there is still a substantial risk within its immediate vicinity, so our advice remains for people to avoid the area.

Our officers are conducting initial enquiries and are in the process of collecting key witness statements and CCTV. Once the fire is extinguished, and the scene is safe to assess and investigate, they’ll be assisting the ORR and RAIB further at the scene.

This was and remains a very challenging incident. I’d like to thank all of our partners for their ongoing support and work to ensure the safety of the surrounding community.”

Update at 5.30pm on 27 August – Superintendent Andy Morgan said: “We have continued to respond to the major incident on the railway line near Lllangennech throughout this afternoon, alongside many of our partners.  Officers are conducting initial enquiries and have now been able to take a look at the train from a safe distance. We await further guidance on when it will be safe for us to fully access the scene.  Once it’s safe to do so, our colleagues at Natural Resources Wales will also be working to fully assess the environmental impact and advise Network Rail when the clean-up of the site can begin.

Superintendent Andy Morgan said: “Overnight, officers from British Transport Police, Dyfed-Powys Police, the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, ambulance service and Carmarthenshire County Council dealt with a major incident on the railway line near Llangennech.

We have launched an investigation and will be assisting the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the exact circumstances behind the incident.

What we know is a freight train, carrying large amounts of diesel oil, caught fire and a number of its wagons also derailed. Thankfully, despite the clear danger, no injuries have been reported. The two members of railway staff operating the train were able raise the alarm and uncouple the locomotive and move it to a safe space.  

The fire was significant due to the quantity of fuel it was carrying and presented a possible danger to the wider community.

As a precaution, roads were shut, and Dyfed-Powys Police evacuated a large number of homes within a radius of the fire.

I believe around 300 people were affected and I’d like to thank everyone for their understanding and quick action in what must have been a frightening time.

At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown and, while the fire continues, there is still a substantial risk within its immediate vicinity, so our advice remains for people to avoid the area.

Our officers are conducting initial enquiries and are in the process of collecting key witness statements and CCTV. Once the fire is extinguished, and the scene is safe to assess and investigate, they’ll be assisting the ORR and RAIB further at the scene.

This was and remains a very challenging incident. I’d like to thank all of our partners for their ongoing support and work to ensure the safety of the surrounding community.”