UPDATE: Two men come forward after Clitheroe to Blackburn train set on fire (From Blackburn Citizen)
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UPDATE: Two men come forward after Clitheroe to Blackburn train set on fire
Updated 5:07pm Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
TWO men have come forward to speak to police after seeing an appeal in the Lancashire Telegraph.
On Tuesday, CCTV pictures were printed of two men who police wanted to speak to in relation to a deliberate fire on board a train.
The arson happened on board a moving train from Clitheroe to Blackburn, when a waste paper bin was stuffed with paper and set alight.
After seeing the appeal, two men came forward to police later the same day.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “We've cancelled the appeal for information after a bin was set on fire on a Clitheroe train. Two men have come forward.”
Although all passengers and staff escaped the train safely, Blackburn MP Jack Straw warned that it could have been ‘much worse’ had the blaze not been discovered quickly.
The MP slammed the arsonists, warning they could have caused very serious injuries or even killed those on board.
The alarm was raised when a cleaner on the train noticed smoke coming from a toilet cubicle, and opened the toilet door to find the waste bin had been stuffed with paper and deliberately set alight.
The train was evacuated when it reached Blackburn station, while rail staff put out the blaze using fire extinguishers.
PC Adam Heslop said: “Whilst the train was travelling between the two stations someone gathered all the paper towels and toilet roll from the on-board toilet, placed it in the waste bin and then set fire to the bin.
“The fire caused the toilet compartment to fill with smoke and was only discovered when the on-board cleaner noticed the smoke and opened the door.
“The train was evacuated at Blackburn and train staff were able to put the fire out using extinguishers on the train.”
Following the incident, officers launched a full investigation.
Condemning the vandals, Jack Straw MP said: “It was sheer idiocy, which could have easily have turned into something much worse.
“The criminals involved are lucky not to be suspects for causing very serious injuries, or worse.
“Any one incident of vandalism on the railways is one too many.”
The fire is indeed not the only recent example of vandalism on East Lancashire’s railways.
Less than a month ago, transport police had to deal with an abandoned motorbike, which was hit by a train travelling at around 50mph between Huncoat and Accrington stations.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones slammed the perpetrators, saying it could have had ‘unimaginable’ consequences if the train, which was slowing to stop at Accrington, had been travelling at a top speed of 70mph.