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Suicide bid man caused problems before

PUBLISHED: 13:56 21 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

A 20-YEAR-OLD whose suicide attempt brought chaos to rail services in East Anglia had been causing trouble even earlier, the Evening Star can reveal today.

A 20-YEAR-OLD whose suicide attempt brought chaos to rail services in East Anglia had been causing trouble even earlier, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Train services between East Anglia and London were thrown into chaos for seven hours on Saturday when the man climbed on to a viaduct at Chelmsford and threatened to throw himself on to the road below.

All trains over the viaduct were cancelled as a team of trained negotiators tried to talk the man down.

Eventually, however, he jumped on to the road at about 5pm. He was taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford with leg and arm injuries where he is still being treated today. His condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

However before the drama unfolded, the man had been causing problems on a train from London.

"He was on our 9.30am train from London to Norwich," said Anglia Railways' Peter Meades.

"He was very agitated and was causing problems for other passengers. Our conductor on the train told him that if he didn't calm down she would call ahead and have the police meet him at Chelmsford.

"He did seem to calm down a bit then, but got off at Chelmsford anyway," he said.

The man then walked off the station along the track toward Ingatestone before climbing over the barriers at the viaduct.

Essex Police and the Essex Ambulance Service were called to the scene, while Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern train services were halted in both directions outside Chelmsford.

As a precaution, the overhead power cables were turned off and roads in the area around the railway viaduct were closed.

As the operation continued into the afternoon, the train timetable between London and Norwich was thrown into disarray by a succession of cancelled services as the line remained closed at Chelmsford.

Anglia Railways warned passengers to expect short-notice alterations, cancellations and long delays to services, then it was forced to introduce emergency measures.

Trains from Norwich were terminated at Colchester and passengers were taken by a special bus service to London Liverpool Street.

Passengers were also advised to take a First Great Eastern train from Colchester to Witham, then go by bus to Shenfield to catch a First Great Eastern service to Liverpool Street.

There were more problems for travellers yesterday when buses replaced trains because of engineering work on the line – but this had been planned in advance and there were notices warning of disruption.

N Anglia Railways has linked up with food group Tastes of Anglia to offer free cooked brunches for passengers on some noon services between East Anglia and London every day until Friday.

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