Burglary theory as quad bike pair killed by train

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The Independent Online

Two men killed today when a train hit a quad bike may have been fleeing the scene of a burglary, police said.

The pair, who were in their 20s, died following the incident on the railway line at Rumney, Cardiff, at about 4.15am.

South Wales Police officers who were investigating a burglary at the nearby Go Outdoors store, on Newport Road, at 4am said the same men may be involved.

A statement from the force said: "Police believe that the men who made off from the Go Outdoors store after committing the burglary may be the same men involved in the fatal incident at a nearby railway line - although it is too early to be certain at this stage."

Officers are viewing CCTV footage and appealing for witnesses to contact them.

British Transport Police (BTP), who are investigating the collision, said two quad bikes were recovered from the tracks and that they believe two other people fled the scene.

Chief Inspector Sandra England, BTP sector commander for Wales, said the men who died were riding east down the track towards Newport when they were struck from behind by the train, which was travelling at about 70mph.

Ms England said the train driver was "pretty shaken up" and officers would be speaking to him fairly urgently.

"We will be following up all lines of inquiry to find out what the men were doing there at that time of night," she added.

The collision happened on the line close to New Road and involved an empty passenger train travelling from the Canton depot in Cardiff to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Ms England added: "We now believe two other persons have made off from the accident and we would urge anyone with any information on that to please come forwards so we can trace these people and speak to them."

It was not known whether the pair who left the scene were male or female, she said.

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 BTP on 0800 40 50 40.

A Go Outdoors spokesman said 200 branded, technical men's jackets worth £40,000 were stolen in the burglary.

He said the store had extensive security and surveillance systems and video footage had been handed to the police.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said damage caused to the track in the collision had been repaired and all four lines were operating as normal.