COMMUTERS on a Halton bound train were forced to evacuate after a fire started in a carriage.
Widnesian Mark Romero was on board a Northern Rail train heading to Farnworth Station when a fire was started by an electrical fault and filled the carriages with smoke.
He said: 'There was a huge panic as people started coughing and spluttering because of the thick smoke. I was just trying to remain calm but people were rushing to get to the door to get out.'
He said many passengers believed at first the train had been hit by terrorists but it soon emerged the fire was the result of an accident. They got off at Hunts Cross.
He added: 'Big men were barging their way past other passengers to get to the door to get out. Some were even kicking the door to get out but it wouldn't budge because it was on a time lock.
'It soon opened though and the emergency services were there to see to everything.
'The smoke was choking. One minute I was just reading the newspaper thinking it would just go away and the next thing the smoke was everywhere.'
A British Transport Police spokesman said: 'We were called to an incident on Friday, February 16, at 3.18pm at Hunts Cross Station after receiving reports of a fire.
'When we arrived it was soon established early on that it was not a criminal matter and we were there to control the crowd and reassure passeng ers.'