Youths could be to blame for train near miss

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POLICE say it is possible children or youths may have been behind hanging a vacuum cleaner from a footbridge in the town that almost caused a passenger train to derail.

British Transport Police officers were called on Saturday at 8.51 p.m. to the footbridge over the main line at Dens Road after the 6.42 p.m. Inverurie to Edinburgh service hit an object.

It transpired that a vacuum cleaner had been dangled from the bridge onto the railway line below but luckily there were no injuries and no damage was caused, although police say there was a real risk of the train derailing.

It is believed that a freight train, which was due next down the line, was cautioned about the incident and the driver was asked to examine the area.

He confirmed that a vacuum cleaner which had clearly been struck was lying on the track. This was eventually removed and had to be untied as the electrical flex was still wrapped around and hanging from the bridge.

British Transport Police have launched a probe into the incident and have urged anybody with information to get in touch.

PC John McErlane who is investigating the incident, said: “I cannot stress how dangerous this incident could have been, and it is of the utmost importance that we find those who were responsible.

“Thankfully on this occasion, the train was not affected and no one was injured, but the next time this happens we might not be so lucky. 

“Trains travel at high speeds and there is a very real risk of derailment if they strike objects which could easily fall onto the tracks, as was the case here.”

And with officers saying it is possible this might have been the work of children, PC McErlane is urging parents to make sure they know where their children are playing.

He said: “I urge anyone who was in or around the area at the time to contact us if they saw anything suspicious or have any information that could help us with our investigation.

“If you know who was responsible, or have any information that could assist our investigation, we want to hear from you.”

This latest incident comes just six months after a deliberately placed object on the track further north at Inverkeilor caused a train to derail.

Anyone with information about the latest incident should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 506 of 06/04/13 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.