Three people are believed to have died and more seriously injured after a passenger train derailed near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Around 30 emergency vehicles, including an air ambulance, are at the scene and a major incident has been declared.
The incident which occurred near Carmont, some four miles south of Stonehaven, involved the 06:38 ScotRail service from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street and was first reported as a fire by a member of the public at 09:40. A member of the train crew walked for around a mile from the crash site to Carmont signal box to raise the alarm.
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British Transport Police (BTP) were called to the line in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire at 09.43am this morning (12 August) following a report that a train travelling from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street had derailed.
“Officers remain on scene this afternoon alongside the ambulance service, fire brigade and colleagues from Police Scotland.
“Very sadly despite the best efforts of paramedics, we can confirm that three people have been pronounced dead at the scene.
“While formal identification is yet to take place, the driver of the train is very sadly believed to have died. His family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.
“Officers are continuing to work to inform the families of the other two people who sadly died.
“Six people have been taken to hospital to be treated for injuries, which thankfully are not believed to be serious.”
Chief Superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “This is a tragic incident and first and foremost our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have very sadly died this morning.
“We remain on scene alongside our emergency service colleagues, and a major incident operation has been underway. I would like to reassure the public that this was not a busy service, and from CCTV enquiries and witness statements we believe all passengers have been accounted for. However, once the area has been made safe then a full and thorough search will be conducted, which is likely to take some time.
“I know many people will understandably have questions, and we will be working closely alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the Office of Rail and Road to establish the full circumstances of how the train came to derail.”
‘Extremely serious incident’
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was an “extremely serious incident” and there were reports of serious injuries.
Ms Sturgeon said the derailment had happened in “a very difficult location for emergency services to access”.
“I know and appreciate that there will be many families who will be anxious if they believe they had relatives who were on that train.
“We will do everything we can to make sure the emergency services are supported, that families are supported.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am saddened to learn of the very serious incident in Aberdeenshire and my thoughts are with all of those affected. My thanks to the emergency services at the scene.”
Torrential rain and thunderstorms have caused flooding and travel disruption across many parts of central and eastern Scotland.
Network Rail said it was investigating the derailment.
ScotRail posted on Twitter announcing they are assisting emergency services at the scene.
“We’re assisting the emergency services with an incident near Stonehaven and will provide more information when available,” a statement read.
The day after the crash, British Transport Police confirmed the driver, Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and a passenger had died.
Paying tribute, Scotrail MD Alex Hynes said: “Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this tragic event, particularly the families of those who have lost their lives. The railway in Scotland is a family, and it’s one that is hurting today.”
Scottish Transport Minister Michael Matheson and UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps have both visited the crash site. Mr Shapps has asked Network Rail to produce an interim report by September 1 on the issues which may have led to the derailment. Furthermore, Network Rail is to carry out detailed inspections of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics using in-house engineers, specialist contractors and helicopter surveys. Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines flew back from a holiday in Italy to visit the site.
A more comprehensive report will appear in the September issue of The Railway Magazine.Enjoy more of The Railway Magazine reading every month. Click here to subscribe.