Passengers had to be rescued from a train after it became trapped in flood water during a night of storms in southern England.
Ninety people on the train, which got stuck near Corsham, Wilshire, were trapped for four hours. Commuters using First Great Western and South-eastern railways are being warned of cancellations due to heavy rain.
Lightning also struck across Bristol and in Wilshire where one house was significantly damaged in Melksham.
‘Fed and Watered’
The First Great Western train travelling between London Paddington and Swansea become stranded in flood water shortly after 01.00 BST on Friday at Pound Pill in Corsham.
The train came to a halt in a cutting where water was up to one metre-deep (3ft) in places within the space of an hour.
Dan Payne from First Great Western said: “We had to keep them fed and watered until we could get them to a place of safety and with the help of the fire-brigade and emergency services evacuate them by around half-past four this morning”.
Lighting struck across Bristol and Wiltshire overnight on Thursday
The train was reversed and taken where there was less flood water, where the passengers could disembark and be taken home by taxi. Engineers are at the site waiting for the flood water to subside before they can check to see if it’s safe to move the train. Signalling has also been affected in the area.
A met office warning said the thunderstorms are forecast to more through to Wales and the Midlands.
Parts of Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire was hit by flooding overnight
Forecaster Nicola Willis said there had been between 0.4 and 0.8ins (10 and 20mm) of rainfall over a four-hour period this morning.
“That is quite a significant amount of rainfall”, she said. There have also been quite a few lightning strikes over that period”.
Lightning was also seen in Kingsdown Bristol overnight on Thursday
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue service also said it has received more than 200 calls for assistance from 21:00 BST on Thursday due to the severe weather. In Steeple Ashton, the high street in the village was hit by floods overnight.
South-eastern said there had been a complete loss of signalling between Otford and Eynsford, affecting services between Ashford international and London Victoria via Maidstone ne East.
In Melksham, Wiltshire, one couple’s home was struck by lightning and caught fire overnight. A Fire-brigade spokesman confirmed there was “significant damage” to the roof and loft space, as well as water damage inside.
Several flats were flooded in Dawlish, Devon, after heavy rainfall overnight, Devon and Somerset fire service said. They received six calls reporting flooding at about 05:50 BST although no-one was injured. Lightning strikes were seen in Bristol as well as in parts of Dorset.
By Beth Lloyd