Video/gallery: After SEVEN hours man is coaxed down from roof of Ipswich train station
21:41 19 July 2013
A man, who climbed on to the roof of Ipswich train station, has been coaxed down after seven hours of severe delays and full closure of the station.
The man, who was wearing shorts and no shoes and was armed with a retractable knife, was standing on the roof above the main platforms.
Police officers, firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene after initial calls reporting the incident were received at around 8.20am.
It is believed around 10,000 rail passengers were caught up in the chaos, as all services through Ipswich were affected until the early evening after the power on all lines was switched off.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of obstructing trains with intent and is currently being assessed in hospital.
A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “BTP officers were called to Ipswich station following a report of a man on the roof of a station.
“BTP and Suffolk Police officers attended the incident which was reported to BTP at 8.26am.
“Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service also attended the incident, and placed a ladder to allow the man to get down, which he refused.
“Officers also retrieved a retractable knife, which the man dropped.
“Police negotiators were called and spoke to the man for an extended period of time to encourage him to leave the roof safely, which would have allowed the station and lines to reopen more promptly.
“Specialist policing at heights officers were also deployed and, at 3.10pm, the 25-year-old man came down of his own accord via a ladder.”
Superintendent Matt Allingham, of BTP, said: “This was a difficult and deeply frustrating situation for officers, rail staff and all passengers and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience today.
“We were faced with a man in a precarious situation, some 30 feet from the ground, who did not want to come down. During the incident the safety of the man, and members of the public nearby, was of paramount concern for us.
“The man was walking around areas that could not have taken the weight of more than one person; if anyone had taken the wrong step, the consequences could have been far worse.
“Power in and around the station was also turned off to preserve the safety of the man and officers dealing with the incident.”
One commuter, Chris Horrex, 21, was trying to get a train to Saxmundham but was told in order to get there, he needed to get a bus to Stowmarket, then a train to Norwich, one to Lowestoft and then on to Saxmundham.
He said: “I’m really annoyed – you can’t put it into words.
“It is rare, you wouldn’t expect this to happen in a million years, especially in Ipswich.”