Train stuck in flood water after storms in southern England

The stranded train Image copyright Robin Matthews
Image caption The First Great Western train became stranded in flood water shortly after 01:00 BST at Corsham

Passengers had to be rescued from a train after it became trapped in flood water during a night of storms in southern England.

Ninety people on the train, which got stuck near Corsham, Wiltshire, were trapped for four hours.

One passenger, Robin Matthews, said the storm was so loud the train's "windows were rattling".

Lightning also struck across Bristol and in Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon homes were damaged.

Image copyright James Hughes
Image caption Engineers later checked the line - where the train was still trapped - amid flood water
Image caption The roof of a house in Melksham was damaged during the thunderstorms overnight in Wiltshire
Image copyright Jake Smith
Image caption The lighting strike caused a fire which destroyed the roof

The First Great Western service travelling between London Paddington and Swansea became stranded in flood water shortly after 01:00 BST on Friday at Pound Pill in Corsham.

The train came to a halt in a cutting where water was up to 1m-deep (3ft) in places.

Mr Matthews, said: "We were about 20 minutes outside Swindon and all of sudden there were bright flashes in the sky followed by thunder and it got louder and louder."

He added the storm was "very, very close and the windows started rattling" when the service "came to a complete halt".

"The driver announced there was signal failure and we had to stop."

Image copyright Ben Sparks
Image caption The lightning was seen in Bath and widely over southern England
Image copyright Richard Fox Photography
Image caption This photograph was taken from Haytor Down in Devon before the heavy rainfall

Overnight storms

  • The Met office said there had been between 0.4 and 0.8in (10 and 20mm) of rainfall over a four-hour period on Friday morning
  • Wiltshire Fire and Rescue received more than 200 calls for assistance from 21:00 BST on Thursday
  • Claremont Residential home in Corsham had a power cut and also flooded during the storm
  • In Steeple Ashton the high street was hit by flash floods
  • In Melksham, Wiltshire, one house was struck by lightning causing "significant damage" to the roof and loft space
  • In Wootton Fitzpaine, near Lyme Regis, Dorset another house was seriously damaged
  • In Honiton, east Devon, the roof of a house caught fire after it was struck by lightning
  • Western Power Distribution said about 300 properties in the South West had been temporarily affected by power cuts due to the storms
  • Several flats were flooded in Dawlish, Devon, after heavy rainfall overnight

After waiting for a few hours he said the passengers were moved off.

"It was a really nice spirit really, where people were helping each other out," said Mr Matthews.

One carriage from the train was decoupled, and using a rear power car, taken to where there was less flood water and where the passengers could disembark and be taken home by taxi.

Dan Payne, from First Great Western, said: "We had to keep them fed and watered until we could get them to a place of safety and with the help of the fire brigade and emergency services evacuate them by around half-past four this morning."

Image copyright DAVE RICHARDS
Image caption This was taken in Corsham overnight, where a train also became submerged in flood water
Image copyright Steve walsh
Image caption Lightning struck across Bristol and Wiltshire overnight on Thursday - this was taken in Chippenham

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