Dart driver injured by detonators

Tue, Mar 6, 2012, 00:00

An investigation has begun after a Dart driver was injured when a number of warning detonators in his kit bag exploded while he was in the front cabin this morning.

The explosion happened shortly after the man began his shift on the 8am Greystones to Malahide service.

The devices exploded at 8.09am in Bray causing damage to the front cabin.

No passengers were injured in the incident but the driver needed stitches to his hand. He was later transferred to hospital for tests on possible damage to his hearing.

The train was taken out of service following the incident.

Detonators are used on the railways as a safety measure and are usually placed on railway lines by drivers and other staff. They explode with a loud bang in order to alert drivers to specific issues.

Iarnród Éireann has commenced an investigation into the incident. Other agencies have also been advised, including the Health and Safety Authority, the Railway Accident Investigation Unit, and the Railway Safety Commission.

Iarnród Éireann spokesman Barry Kenny said the detonators typically have a lifespan of approximately 5 years but that the batch which exploded were only from January 2011.

Mr Barry said Iarnród Éireann had withdrawn the detonators as a precaution pending the results of the investigation.

"They were correctly stored by the driver, that much we have established. In any event, in a cab environment there shouldn't be any reason why something like this should happen and certainly nothing like this has happened before," he said.

"It is a source of concern for us and it could have potentially been far more serious for the driver," he added.