Saturday 17 March 2018

'Someone was screaming to get out' - Over 100 passengers evacuated from Irish Rail train after engine bursts into flames

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Over 100 passengers were evacuated from an Irish Rail train after one of its engine went on fire this morning.

The 9.40am Drogheda to Pearse four-carraige service was forced to stop at Clongriffin as a result.

"Smoke suddenly started filling up the carriage and people all around me began to panic," a witness told

"There was a mad dash to get off and someone was screaming to get out."

DFB at Clongriffin
DFB at Clongriffin
DFB at Clongriffin
DFB at Clongriffin

According to Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny, the train driver received an automated alert that one of the four carraige engines was ablaze.

"He responded to the alert excellently. The central station was told of the incident immediately and the driver stopped at Clongriffin where all of the passengers disembarked safely," Mr Kenny told

Commuter delays for rail passengers on the northbound line are expected to be at least 40 minutes.

Dublin Bus are honouring rail tickets for affected passengers between Howth Junction and Malahide.

Deputy Alan Farrell
Deputy Alan Farrell

A number of passengers complained that they were unaware that the train's engine was on fire when it drew to a halt at Clongriffin.

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, told that the train was stationary for some time before a passenger shouted "there's a fire on the train, get off."

"I got on board the train at Malahide and I realised there was a smell immediately - an oily engine smell. By the time we got to Portmarnock I felt queasy."

Farrell, who was travelling on the carraige next to the one affected, said that there was no doubt the system Irish Rail put in place worked but he had concerns that "there was no audible warning there was a fire on board".

"From a health and safety point of view, there was no warning issued over the train tannoy or on the station platform. There were personnel on the train but they weren't issuing directions.

"After we evacuated the train, some people were congregating around where the fire was - nobody really moved away from the fire.

"With a battery on fire - which essentially was what it was - it could have potentially turned into a more serious incident."

Dublin Fire Brigade responded to the scene and are currently on the train line at Clongriffin.

It is understood that between 100 and 150 passengers were aboard the train at the time of the incident.

There were no injuries reported.

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