Nottingham station reopens to influx of football fans as police pursue arson investigation

Station reopened on Saturday morning after blaze which has left two platforms and station facilities out of use

Alex Matthews-King
Saturday 13 January 2018 23:39 GMT
Nottingham railway station evacuated due to fire

Nottingham train station reopened to passengers on Saturday after a major fire ripped through the building on Friday, wreaking havoc for rush-hour commuters.

British Transport Police confirmed to The Independent it was continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze and still suspected it was started deliberately.

Passengers were advised to expect some disruption following the huge blaze which caused “significant damage”, but East Midlands Trains (EMT) said it was hopeful the majority of services would run as normal.

Thousands of football fans were expected to travel to and from the city on Saturday as Nottingham Forest played Aston Villa at home and Notts County faced East Midlands rivals Lincoln City away.

The rail operator said it had put alternative travel plans in place for several services, including queueing arrangements at the station for safety.

The station reopened at 4.45am after emergency services and structural engineers deemed the building was safe.

Network Rail said two had to remain closed.

Meanwhile National Rail Enquires advised passengers that the station had reduced facilities including no lifts, no step-free access and no toilets.

There was major disruption to services on Friday after the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately in toilets shortly after 6.30am, spread to the station’s concourse roof.

It took 60 firefighters to control the blaze and the station remained closed for the rest of the day.

EMT managing director Jake Kelly thanked the emergency services for their “brave and professional response” to the fire that resulted in “significant damage to the station”.

Firefighters attend the scene of the fire at Nottingham Railway Station (Reuters)

“Thankfully, it appears that no-one has been injured. We will continue to support the investigation into the cause of the fire and would ask anyone who may have any information to contact British Transport Police.

“I am pleased that the emergency services and structural engineers have now confirmed it is safe to re-open the station (on Saturday) and that we can start to resume services.

“While we will be able to run many of our normal timetabled services, there will continue to be some disruption in the next few days as a result of the fire.

“Some of our normal facilities at Nottingham station will also not be available immediately.”

Head of the BTP response Supt Sandra England said: “Inquiries have been ongoing and we now have reason to believe the fire may have been started deliberately.

“Officers are working to identify anyone who may have been involved in the incident, and we are appealing for information from members of the public.

“Fortunately, we have not had any reports of injuries as a result of the fire.”

The Grade II listed station was built in the mid-19th century and refurbished in recent years.

Additional reporting by PA

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