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Articles: Eurostar narrowly misses car

Contributed by localrags on Oct 21, 2003 - 01:58 PM

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£5000 REWARD AFTER EUROSTAR NARROWLY MISSES CAR<IMG alt=Eurostar hspace=20 src="http://www.localrags.org/images/highspeedtrain.jpg" align=right vspace=20 border=1>

Kent police are hunting criminals who almost caused a major rail disaster by pushing a stolen car down an embankment to within feet of the new high-speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

British Transport Police said the car was pushed down the embankment o­n the line near Gravesend in o­n Sunday but came to rest in gravel less than two yards short of the track,

A £5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the conviction of the gang, who cut through a wire fence before pushing the car towards the track.

Officers have spoken of the potential for a major disaster if the car had come to rest o­n the line, which opened o­nly last month and allows Eurostar trains to travel at 186mph.

On Sunday trains were forced to slow down while engineers and police moved the car, which had been spotted by a member of the public who alerted police.

Superintendent Colum Price, of the BTP, said police were treating the incident "extremely seriously" and compared the potential consequences with a German high-speed rail disaster in 1998 which killed around 100 people.

He said: "This is as criminal as an armed robbery as far as I am concerned.

"If a train had hit that car and come off the tracks and hit the nearby bridge, we would be talking about a disaster of the same proportions as the o­ne in Germany.

"These are criminals - not vandals or young hooligans. This is as blatant a criminal matter as I have seen.

"Nobody is going to tell me that these people couldn't have understood what the score was. The whole of Kent knows how fast these trains go."

<FONT color=lightgrey>Ananova