Police declare ‘major incident’ after train carrying diesel catches fire in Llangennech

Photo by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Enquiries are underway into the causes of a major incident on the railway in Llangennech, where a freight train carrying large quantities of diesel caught fire.

The incident was reported at just before 11.20pm on Wednesday, August 26, when three carriages of a diesel train were alight. A number of carriges derailed and caught fire.

Two employees were on board the freight service. They have since been accounted for and no injuries have been reported.

Dyfed-Powys Police, British Transport Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service were in attendance, with support from Carmarthenshire Council and Natural Resources Wales.

The police said that an evacuation zone has been put in place, with police contacting residents in this area and asking them to convene at Bryn School and Llangennech Community Centre.

They have since been allowed to return.

Road closures are in place, with people asked to avoid the Llangennech and Hendy areas, and vehicles on the M4 asked to continue to Pont Abraham.

 

‘Avoid’

Dyfed-Powys Police Superintendent Ross Evans said: “This was a fast-moving situation, which was declared a major incident due to the initial risk of harm to people living in the area.

“The policing response was large scale, with officers across the force retained on duty to ensure we had sufficient resources to carry out the evacuation swiftly, as well as the deployment of a logistics specialist to assist and advise our officers on safely moving people from their homes to the reception points.

“The evacuation no doubt caused a significant amount of disruption for those evacuated in the middle of the night, and I would like to personally thank residents for their response, as well as our frontline officers who swiftly moved hundreds of residents out of their homes.

“My thanks also go to our emergency services colleagues for their response, and partners at the local authority for their assistance in finding and opening Bryn School and Llangennech Community Centre as safe points.

“Officers will continue to be visible in Llangennech, and we will continue to work 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 conclusion.”

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said: “This is a significant incident. Resources from across BTP, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Dyfed-Powys Police have been deployed to the scene to mitigate damage to the surrounding area and ensure the safety of all those living nearby.

“The fire continues and there is still a substantial risk within its immediate vicinity, so our advice remains for people to avoid the area.

“Our officers will be conducting initial enquiries into the incident and are in the process of securing key witness statements and CCTV.

“Once the fire has been extinguished, and the scene is safe to assess and investigate, we’ll be working with the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the exact circumstances behind the incident.”

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