TRAIN TER­ROR

Pas­sen­gers thought a bomb had gone off

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Front Page - An­drew Bargh

Ter­ri­fied pas­sen­gers on a train tar­geted by brick-throw­ing yobs feared they were caught up in a ter­ror­ist at­tack.

The packed ser­vice, en route

to Ed­in­burgh via Coat­bridge on Satur­day evening, was thrown into a state of chaos when mind­less van­dals launched ob­jects at it from a bridge.

An avalanche of bricks rained down on the six car­riages caus­ing some com­muters to fear an ex­plo­sive de­vice had been det­o­nated – with the pre­vi­ous week­end’s Lon­don Tube ter­ror at­tack still fresh in the mem­ory.

Over­head wires were sev­ered and left ric­o­chet­ing around the train’s ex­te­rior in the in­ci­dent which Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice (BTP) called a “nar­rowly-avoided disas­ter”.

Coat­bridge mum-of-two An­gela Ward was on the train with her 14-year-old daugh­ter Evie when it was struck near Barged­die just be­fore 6pm.

She told the Ad­ver­tiser: There was a very sud­den, loud bang that sounded like a fire­work.

“Af­ter the first one, a cou­ple of more bangs fol­lowed and there was some panic around us. Peo­ple didn’t know what was go­ing on and we could see ca­bles out­side on the track.

“The bangs were so loud and it was a fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as quite a lot of chil­dren were on board.

“Af­ter around 20 min­utes the driver walked through the car­riages and ex­plained to ev­ery­body that some­thing had hit the train and there was go­ing to be a long de­lay.

“I’m re­ally an­gry at the peo­ple who did this, es­pe­cially as there were so many chil­dren on the train.”

Air­drie woman Brenda Fitz­patrick was also on board and ex­plained: “I feared the worst and thought it was a bomb.

“I was on the first car­riage; the bang was re­ally loud and there was blind panic. We could see the ca­bles hit­ting off the win­dow and a lot of peo­ple quickly moved over to the other side of the train.

“We could see the sparks and the car­riage lights were flick­er­ing on and off.

“It was very fright­en­ing as we didn’t know what was go­ing on.

“The driver was brilliant and walked through the car­riages ex­plain­ing what had hap­pened.”

Brenda added: “I’m dis­gusted with those re­spon­si­ble. They should be charged them with at­tempted mur­der.”

An­other pas­sen­ger was Whin­hall dadof-two Stephen McPhee, who told us “around 50 per cent” of the peo­ple on his car­riage thought a bomb had gone off.

He said: “That was the first thing that crossed my mind.

“We were on a busy train which was on its way to the cap­i­tal city; un­for­tu­nately these things aren’t that un­com­mon any more.”

Pas­sen­gers were even­tu­ally es­corted off the train and had to walk back to Easter­house sta­tion, be­fore be­ing bussed home.

BTP have con­firmed they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent which saw hun­dreds of lives placed in danger.

De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Vic­to­ria Gra­ham said: “A disas­ter was nar­rowly avoided and we are now ac­tively trac­ing those re­spon­si­ble.”

The bangs were so loud and it was a fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as a lot of chil­dren were on board

Evac­u­a­tion Pas­sen­gers had to walk back to Easter­house

Fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence For Coat­bridge mum and daugh­ter An­gela and Evie Ward

Dam­age The driver’s win­dow was smashed in the at­tack

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