Burning car forces train to make emergency stop - passengers and staff escape injury from ‘reckless endangerment to life’

Translink have confirmed there has been an incident involving a burning car on the train track near Bellarena.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 9:55 am

The incident occurred last night (Mon 24th April) around 9pm involving the 1910 train from Belfast to Derry~Londonderry.

Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive said: “The train driver reacted quickly and thankfully brought the train to a stop safely, short of where the car was burning.

“The train crew ensured all safety procedures were followed with the incident swiftly reported and emergency services attended the scene.

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“The train returned to Coleraine Station, where 6 passengers got off safely for onward connections by road.

“It is very fortunate that no-one has been injured in this incident.

“The line will remain closed until further notice with bus substitutions operating tomorrow morning between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine.

“Our staff continue to provide vital services for all communities across Northern Ireland and we utterly condemn this attack which had the potential for very serious consequences.

The route from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry

“Translink will be working with the PSNI to investigate this incident.”

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon also expressed her deep concern as Translink confirmed there has been an incident involving a burning car on the train track near Bellarena.

Minister Mallon last night said: “I am deeply concerned and troubled by the incident near Bellarena this evening.

“The train travelling from Belfast to Derry was brought thankfully to a stop by the train driver who acted quickly before the train reached the burning car on the track.

“I am so relieved to hear that passengers and crew are all safe. It is unimaginable to think what could have happened this evening had it not been for the prompt action of the driver and crew. I want to express my gratitude to them and to the emergency services.

“I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to contact the PSNI.”

In a statement the PSNI are appealing for information after the car was set on fire and abandoned on railway tracks at a level crossing on the Limestone Road, Limavady last night, Monday April 12th.

The statenent says the incident happened at around 9pm on the railway line between Derry/Londonderry and Coleraine.

A train with passengers on board was forced to make an emergency stop.

Chief Inspector MclIdowney described the incident as “reckless endangerment to life” and praised the “heroics of our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service”.

“Our investigation is currently underway to establish the circumstances into this incident. We are appealing for any witnesses to contact police on quoting serial number 1945 of the 12/04/21.”

“The railway line currently remains closed at this time.”

You can also submit a report line using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/