LOOSE screws have been blamed for a Greater Anglia train door opening as it travelled 80mph through south Essex.

The train travelled a total of 16 miles - roughly 23 minutes - from Shenfield to Hockley once the screws had fallen out and doors had opened, before a passenger alerted the driver.

A new report published yesterday, by the Rail Accident Investigation Board, stated Greater Anglia had since found loose screws on “at least 60 doorways” across its network of refurbished class 321 carriages.

The missing screws meant that the door mechanism, unattached to the door, was able to return to the closed position - giving the driver the incorrect signal that all doors were shut.

Following the incident, Greater Anglia insisted “safety is our highest priority” and carried out checks on “every single door on that type of train we have”.

The report into the incident said: “The door leaf which remained open between Shenfield and Hockley had become detached from the drive mechanism because the two screws fixing its bracket to the drive mechanism had worked loose and fallen from the bracket.

“The two screws and the associated four wedge lock washers were found by the driver, while at Hockley, when he opened a panel giving access to the door equipment.

“With the screws fallen from the bracket, the door leaf did not respond to movement of the drive belt and was free to open and close in response to the train’s motion.”

Greater Anglia has stated that it has introduced an enhanced door bracket screw monitoring programme and will carry out further remedial action if necessary, until it is satisfied that the issue has been resolved.

And this incident is expected to have ramifications across the train network.

The report concluded: “The lessons learnt from this incident involving class 321 units are likely to have wider applicability as RAIB has identified at least 13 classes of rolling stock currently operating on the British railway network in which doors are connected to drive belts in a manner similar to the class 321 units.

“A variety of fasteners and thread locking systems are being used when fixing brackets to the door and drive mechanism.”

The reported added a similar incident happened with the same design doors in 1998 in Wales.