Thieves who stole six detonators from a section of railway in Sunderland could be at risk of serious injury, according to British Transport Police.
The theft is thought to have happened in a two-hour window between 11pm on Saturday 15 September and 1am on Sunday September 16, when rail staff noticed they were missing.
The detonators are triggered by impact and let off a loud bang when a train passes over them.
They were being used to warn rail maintenance workmen of approaching trains.
The small discs, around 5cm across, are safe if handled correctly but there have been serious injuries.
PC Mick Proudfoot, of British Transport Police, said: “The detonators could be very dangerous in untrained hands, particularly young children or teenagers who may see them as a source of fun or entertainment.
"Only a few weeks ago a teenager from Essex sadly lost their sight after a detonator accident so I can’t emphasise the dangers enough.
“We are obviously concerned for the safety of the individuals who have the detonators, regardless of their age, and I would urge anyone who has information that could help us with our enquiries to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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