Tyne and Wear Metro: Heat probe after passengers trapped

New look Metro train Metro services across the network were disrupted after the power failure

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Transport bosses on the Tyne and Wear Metro are investigating whether the hot weather caused overhead lines to come down, trapping passengers onboard.

A power failure at about 13:30 BST on Thursday stopped trains at Pelaw and Gateshead, with about 75 passengers having to be rescued by firefighters.

The disruption was caused when sagging overhead lines got caught in a train.

A spokesman said engineers worked through the night to replace the cable and normal service had resumed.

Huw Lewis, from Metro owner Nexus, said: "We understand that was an uncomfortable experience for people but it went very smoothly.

"We are investigating the cause and I think as suggested, heat is one of the first things we are looking at because that can cause the cables to sag, basically, as they expand.

"We know that in that area the temperature of the metal had gone up to 44C (111F)... the wire sagged and the wire got caught in the train as it went past underneath and that's what brought the wire down."

Passenger Marilyn Ward said: "There was a big flash, the train stopped, the lights went out and it became extremely hot inside."

The disruption stopped trains running between Monument and Heworth in both directions.

A bus replacement service was in operation.

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