Investigation After Ceiling Falls Down on Southern Railways Train

Commuters on a southern railways train this morning were given a shock when a ceiling collapsed in a train carriage.

The incident happened on a service operated by Southern between Purley Oaks and South Croydon in south London at around 8.25am.

Passengers were left shaken but avoided injury.

It is the latest problem to hit Southern services, which have suffered delays and cancellations for months because of a dispute over changes to the role of conductors and staff shortages - blamed by the company on high levels of employee sickness.

Southern apologised for the ceiling incident.

Public relations manager Wendy Butler, 36, was in the carriage when it happened and claimed people could have been killed. ``I was minding my own business and suddenly heard a bit of commotion on the other side of the carriage and realised part of the train had fallen down.``People were actually quite calm.``Lots of very nice men leapt up and moved the piece of metal.``It could've been a lot worse. Some of the people could have died if they had been under that.''

She added: ``It's just one thing after another with Southern. It's just relentless, it's just beyond ridiculous and excuse after excuse, whether it's rain or leaves on the line. It seems they are cursed at the moment.''

Kate Baxter, who was on board the train, posted photographs on twitter  which showed a large section of the ceiling on the floor of the carriage.

She wrote: ``Southern Rail trains are literally falling apart, right on top of us! Thankfully no-one hurt, just shaken.''

A Southern spokesman said: ``Reports have been received of a ceiling panel dislodging in one of the carriages on the 7.45am Southern service from Tattenham Corner to Victoria.

``Southern staff at East Croydon station boarded the train to attend to passengers and it was reported at the time that there were no injuries. The cause of this incident is currently unknown and will be investigated fully.

``We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.''

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