Two men were killed yesterday morning when the quad bike they were riding was hit by a train, allegedly as they were fleeing from a £40,000 superstore break-in.
Trevor Davies, 20, and David Cooper, 27, died instantly when they were struck in the darkness by a passenger train shortly after 4am in Roath, Cardiff.
Police recovered a second quad bike from the crash, believed to have been ridden by two further men who escaped injury and fled on foot from the rail line.
The pair were killed just minutes after a 4am break-in at GO Outdoors, an outdoor pursuits superstore next to the main London to South Wales rail line in Cardiff.
CCTV footage shows four men riding along the rail line, using bolt cutters to get through fencing and the quad bikes to ram-raid the doors.
The quad bikes were later seen on security CCTV cameras returning to the rail line and driving away.
The rail line is usually deserted at 4am – but an empty unscheduled train was on its way for a service, travelling at 70mph.
It is believed the sound of the quad bike's engine prevented the men from hearing the train, which struck them from behind. The first bike was crushed by the train, while the second was pushed clear of the track. Both Mr Davies and Mr Cooper were found dead on the scene from multiple injuries.
Last night tributes were being left on social networking site Facebook in memory of the two men.
A spokesman for GO Outdoors said: "Some 200 branded technical men's jackets worth £40,000 were stolen. The store's extensive security and surveillance systems have delivered footage which has been supplied to police."
Quad bikers are often seen at night on the railway line which backs on to the store. Police believe the men used the line as a getaway route, away from street lights and main roads.
Chief Inspector Sandra England, British Transport Police sector commander for Wales, said the train driver was "pretty shaken up" and officers would speak to him urgently.
Detectives were yesterday looking at CCTV footage and are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with any information regarding the burglary is asked to contact police at Rumney on 02920 222111 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Anybody who witnessed the collision or has information about the pair who fled the scene should call the police on 0800 40 50 40.Reuse content