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FIREFIGHTERS' STRIKE COULD CRIPPLE RAILWAYS

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Britain's rail network faces a crippling shutdown next week for lack of safety cover by striking firefighters, acco...
Britain's rail network faces a crippling shutdown next week for lack of safety cover by striking firefighters, according to The Observer (pp 1-1).

Bob Crow, leader of rail union RMT, said staff would not agree to work as their safety and that of passengers could not be guaranteed. He said the Green Goddesses, the antiquated military fire engines, which will take to the streets from 29 October for the first of 36 days of national action, were inadequate to deal with large-scale incidents such as rail accidents.

The shutdown of the rail network would signal a large-scale escalation of the dispute and was greeted with alarm by government ministers. 'This appears to be going from bad to worse', said one Whitehall source. 'People need to stop and take stock of what they are risking'.
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