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THESE dramatic pictures show the moment thugs put dozens of lives in danger when they threw a bike on to train tracks causing a huge explosion.

Images captured by security cameras show how the blast sent sparks flying from the live rail, causing the lights of the station to go out and a cloud of black smoke to fill the platform.

The moment of madness happened just two minutes before a non-stop train came hurtling through the station at up to 50mph.

Officers say the “mindless act” could have derailed the full commuter train heading towards Southampton causing a tragedy on the tracks, or the bike could have ricocheted on to the other platform potentially killing a passenger waiting for a train.

It was only through “sheer luck” that nobody was injured, police said last night.

Now British Transport Police have released vital CCTV of the three men they want to talk to.

The three youths are seen on a station bench smoking and drinking cans of alcohol when they arrive at Woolston station at 5.30pm.

Twenty minutes later, after a train arrives and passengers get off, they temporarily disappear.

But they come back and one of them grabs the bike they brought in, approaches the yellow line on the platform and throws the bike on to the rail.

The youth cowers away as an explosion erupts on the tracks before the trio run away.

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Just minutes later a non-stop train from Fareham comes through the station heading towards Southampton.

Sparks fly under the passenger train as it runs over the bike.

Inspector Mick Morriss, based at Southampton British Transport Police in Blechynden Terrace, said: “Three men were seen drinking on the station platform around 5.30pm before a cycle was thrown on to the tracks, causing an explosion and sending sparks flying into the air.

“Shortly after the cycle was then struck by a non-stop service passing through the station.

“I cannot over-emphasise enough the dangers associated with this type of crime.

“Although through sheer luck no-one was injured and no trains were damaged, Network Rail engineers had to carry out emergency repairs to the tracks, causing delays to services in the area.

“This was a mindless act of vandalism that could have had far worse consequences and I urge anyone who recognises the men pictured in the CCTV images to contact us.”