Horrified passengers on board a train which struck a man on the tracks in Blackpool today described the chaotic moments following the tragedy.
Kevin Rowan-Drewitt and his wife, Kathy, were on the last leg of their return journey from London when they heard the terrible impact before the driver stopped the train less than half a mile before its next stop at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
The man was hit close to Harrowside Bridge by the 12.50pm train from Colne, which was due to arrive at Blackpool South at 2.39pm.
British Transport Police and paramedics were called, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Mr Rowan-Drewitt, 55, of Ball Street, South Shore, said: “The driver must have signalled to the conductor as he came running down the train and went into the cabin. He emerged about five minutes later to explain what had happened.
“He said we wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while, and then the police were everywhere.
“There were a few young people and parents with buggies on the train, and we were stuck there for about an hour before police let us climb down a ladder onto the track and led us to Pleasure Beach station.
“Everyone was very calm.
“Paramedics were on the train in case anyone went into shock or had anxiety, but we were all fine. The police did a marvellous job.”
Mrs Rowan-Drewitt, 52, added: “The police were really great with everyone, carrying buggies and making sure everyone was careful with their footing on the ladder and uneven walking surface. It’s so sad for the man’s family.”
A spokeswoman for British Transport Police said: “Enquiries are ongoing to establish the man’s identity and inform his family.”
The incident caused disruption on the rail network.
A replacement bus service took passengers from Blackpool South and Kirkham and Wesham until the line was reopened at around 5pm.
A Northern Rail spokeswoman: “We are aware someone has been struck by a train in an incident near Squires Gate and had replacement road transport services available.”