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Smoke bomb delay for Sunderland fans on train from Wembley could cost rail company ‘thousands’

A smoke bomb set off on a train full of Sunderland supporters returning from Wembley looks to have cost a rail company tens of thousands of pounds.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 4:55 am

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Passengers on the 8pm LNER Kings Cross to Newcastle train on May 21 were in good spirits, after watching their team clinch promotion by beating Wycombe Wanderers.

However, the mood was spoiled when the device was discharged in a carriage, billowing out thick smoke as the train approached Doncaster about ninety minutes into the journey.

Passengers later received a letter from the train company saying: “We are sorry to hear that your journey was affected by delays to our service and appreciate that it can affect your day.

The smoke bomb was not set off in this carriage, although the smoke soon spread.

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“Your train was delayed by 67 minutes … and, in keeping with our Passenger’s Charter, we’re committed to compensating every LNER customer who is more than 30 minutes late to their destination station because their train is delayed or is cancelled.”

One passenger, who lives in Sunderland, told us that because the delay was over an hour, he would be refunded the full price of his return ticket. Payment is due to be made within the next 14 days.

He had bought single tickets, there and back, rather than returns. The amount was for all of the return fare.

The passenger also said that people on the train were covering their faces to avoid fumes, although there was no panic,

A spokesperson for LNER said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority. Our on-train crew responded swiftly to an issue onboard one of our services on Saturday, 21 May 2022. Following a short delay, the service continued on as planned.”

The company did not say how many passengers were affected, or how much they would have to pay out. But the train was busy, with hundreds on board.

British Transport Police say that they were not contacted and have not therefore made any arrests. The force says that they have been in touch with a police inspector local to the incident, who told confirmed to them that zero arrests had been made.

No details about whoever let off the smoke bomb have been released.

The thousands of Sunderland fans travelling to London over the Wembley weekend have been widely praised for their conduct.

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