Burnham kite-flyers slammed by Network Rail for risking death and causing train delays

Kite-flyers have been slammed for getting too close to a railway line – risking serious injury or death and causing delays for train passengers.

A kite became tangled in overhead electric wires near Burnham on July 31 because those flying it were too close to the line.

Although no one was injured, it delayed trains for up to 43 minutes and cost the taxpayer more than £5,000 to sort out.

Network Rail has shared details of the incident in a bid to highlight the dangers of getting too close to the tracks.

The power is never turned off, and 25,000 volts of electricity continuously run through the overhead wires that the kite got stuck in.

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The heat generated by an electric shock from high voltage wires is in excess of 3000 degrees Celsius – hot enough to ignite clothing.

Network Rail added that children and parents need to be aware of the danger of flying kites, drones and model aircraft too close to the railway or carrying balloons onto the stations or across railway bridges and urged everyone not to trespass.

Kimberley Carter, who is the community safety manager at Network Rail, said: “Electricity is never turned off on the railway, whether trains are running or not.

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“Playing with objects so close to electrified tracks and overhead power lines is extremely dangerous. Please ensure you play well away from the railway tracks and lines.

“Danger is all around, some are hidden, you cannot see them. Trespass incidents are at an all-time high.

“Please stay off the tracks and play in safe areas with your families and friends.”

Slough Observer | News