Two injured after underground fire near Manchester Victoria suspends entire Metrolink network

Greater Manchester Police do not believe the incident to be suspicious

Celine Wadhera
Thursday 10 June 2021 13:32
Two injured after underground fire near Manchester Victoria suspends entire Metrolink network

An underground fire near Victoria station in Manchester caused the entire Metrolink network to suspend service.

An explosion was also heard in the city centre on Wednesday morning and two engineers who had been working inside a manhole sustained minor injuries.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) arrived on scene around 9.20 am, and confirmed that there had been an “underground electrical issue”.

In a statement, GMP said that fire and ambulance emergency services were present on the scene, and confirmed that the circumstances surrounding the incident were not considered to be suspicious.

Helen Critchley, GMP Superintendent from the City of Manchester Division, said: “No doubt the heavy emergency services presence, and the loud noise as a result of the electrical issue will have caused some concern — but I want to reassure the public that we are dealing with it, and believe this to be an isolated incident, which emergency services are working together on to bring a swift conclusion.”

The city centre streets surrounding Victoria Station were closed, and fire services requested that the power connected to the Metrolink network be turned off as a precautionary measure while the investigation was conducted.

In a statement, Transit for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said: “A small fire — believed to have been caused by a build-up of gas — has been reported in a Metrolink chamber that has caused damage to equipment and a loss of power in the city centre. Two engineers are believed to have suffered minor injuries.

“As a precautionary measure GMFRS (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service) requested that power to the Metrolink network be switched off while investigations get underway.”

TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: “We are working with the Metrolink operator and emergency services in response to this incident and to understand the cause.

Mr Vaughan also wished the injured engineers a speedy recovery. For updates on rail services, he encouraged the public to monitor the TfGM website and social media channels for the latest developments on the incident.

Throughout the morning, tickets for Metrolink were accepted on buses and Manchester Network Rail trains.

Around 12.30pm the Metrolink line was fully reopened, as were the surrounding streets. A large emergency presence remains in the city centre.

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