Potentially dangerous railway detonator stolen from Knottingley train tracks

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Police are warning that a railway detonator stolen from train tracks in Knottingley could be dangerous if it gets into the hands of young children or teenagers.

The detonator, which is safe if handled correctly, was taken from the rail line near Womersley Road level crossing sometime between 8pm on Saturday, July 12 and 8am on Sunday, July 13.

The device is described as a small disc, approximately 5cm in diameter with two lead strips either side. It is designed to emit a loud bang when a train passes over it and was being used to warn rail maintenance workers of approaching trains. The detonators are triggered by impact and officers from the British Transport Police (BTP), who are investigating the theft, are concerned that children could be playing with the stolen device.

PC John Clethro said: “These detonators contain mild explosives and emit a loud bang when drivers pass over them, to warn track workers that a train will be coming their way soon.

“They could be very dangerous in untrained hands, particularly young children or teenagers who may see them as a source of fun or entertainment. Last year, a teenager sadly lost their sight after a detonator accident so I can’t emphasise the dangers enough.

“We are obviously concerned for the safety of the individuals who have the detonators, regardless of their age, and I would urge anyone who has information that could help us with our enquiries to contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information should call the BTP on 0800 405040, text 61016 quoting reference 105 of 13/7/2014, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.