Spark from train kills 16 chickens

A SPARK from a passing train set two garden sheds ablaze and roasted 16 chickens alive.

A SPARK from a passing train set two garden sheds ablaze and roasted 16 chickens alive.

Julie Shepherd was woken up early yesterday morning to hear fire crews at the bottom of her garden and found the charred remains of 16 chickens, the wooden sheds, garden furniture and her children's toys.

The 40-year-old mother-of-three was devastated to discover a “grinding” train, which had been clearing the train tracks in Thorpe St Andrew of debris, had released a spark into her garden some time in the early hours.

The family said they have experienced small sparks coming off the track before but they were surprised at how extensive this damage was.


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The line passing the bottom of their garden is the Norwich to Cromer line managed by Network Rail and during some evenings and weekends the tracks are cleared using special grinding trains, which can create sparks on the tracks when trains brake suddenly or too hard.

Today Network Rail said the incident was a “rare occurrence” and confirmed they had spoken to the parties affected and a claim would be processed in the “usual manner”.

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