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Commuter tells of train fire drama between Lee and Mottingham stations
A COMMUTER has spoken of the moment when he and around 200 other passengers were forced to leave a train after it caught fire last night (June 13).
Brian Milligan was watching the Germany v Holland match on his phone when the power went out on the Southeastern service between Lee and Mottingham stations at around 9.20pm.
He could smell smoke and exited the train on a bridge near the Dutch House pub, Sidcup Road, Eltham, along with the other passengers.
Mr Milligan, of St Paul’s Close, Swanscombe, said: “We were all planning to open up the emergency door when a man came through and said there was a fire and we should evacuate.
“There were no instructions from the driver so we had to make up our own minds and so we stood outside the train.
“The police and the fire brigade turned up and after a short time we went through their evacuation plan.
“I think everyone was confident that things were under control if not I think panic would have spread quickly down the track.
The associate director of digital communications at Barclays Bank added: “It was fortunate that we stopped on a bridge because it meant that the exit wasn’t a huge leap down and made life a lot easier.”
“I was watching the Germany Holland game on the train and Holland scored and we were outside the Dutch House pub.
“Everyone was quite jovial and there were no problems.”
The 49-year-old’s evening journey usually takes him an hour but yesterday it took two because he had to get a bus from Mottingham station to Eltham and then a train from there to Swanscombe.
The small fire damaged part of the first coach of the eight carriage train.
It was out by the time firefighters arrived at around 9.20pm but they led around 70 people along the track side to nearby Lee and Mottingham stations.
A further 130 people made their own way along the tracks.
There are no reports of any injuries.
Crews from Lee Green, Eltham and Downham fire stations were at the incident for more than 90 minutes to make sure everyone was safe.
Were you on the train last night? Call the newsroom on 01689 885725.