Fire causes com­muter chaos

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - REMEMBER WHEN? - by Clare Mul­grew

Lon­don-bound ser­vices in dis­ar­ray af­ter line closed

COM­MUTERS at Ash­ford faced chaos when they ar­rived at the In­ter­na­tional Sta­tion last Thurs­day to hear that ser­vices into Lon­don had been se­verely dis­rupted.

Fire crews closed the rail­way line into Lon­don Bridge af­ter a fire broke out at an in­dus­trial site in Dept­ford, in the early hours.

There were fears gas cylin­ders could ex­plode, so all South­east­ern ser­vices were di­verted via Vic­to­ria and Black­fri­ars while in­ves­ti­ga­tions took place.

South­east­ern spokesman, Nigel Jar­rett, said all ser­vices were back to nor­mal on Fri­day morn­ing.

“We were given pos­ses­sion of the line again at around lunchtime on Thurs­day,” he said.

“We had to run trains with cau­tion for a while be­cause smoke was still drift­ing across the tracks. The main prob­lem was fear of ex­plod­ing gas cylin­ders, but the Lon­don Fire Brigade ad­vised us af­ter care­fully in­ves­ti­gat­ing, that there was no dan­ger of that hap­pen­ing and they lifted their ex­clu­sion zones.

“Be­cause of the dis­rup­tion in the morn­ing, our rolling stock was all over the place, so we had to pull ev­ery­thing to­gether again, and by about 4pm we had largely re­sumed nor­mal ser­vices.”

Mr Jar­rett said South­east­ern was sorry for any dis­rup­tion caused to pas­sen­gers, but it was be­yond their con­trol, and added staff had pulled to­gether to get ser­vices back to nor­mal.

Some 200 peo­ple were evac­u­ated from their homes when the two-storey ware­house at Dept­ford went up in flames.

Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Sta­tion where pas­sen­gers faced a night­mare jour­ney into Lon­don on Thurs­day

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