Wednesday, 12 August 2020

'Landslip' caused ScotRail crash that killed driver 'and one other'

A train driver is believed to have died and there are fears of a second fatality after a ScotRail passenger train derailed and crashed down an embankment near Aberdeen in an area hit by major flooding today.
The train came off the tracks on the line at 9.40am today close to the old Carmont railway station, near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Thirty emergency vehicles and an air ambulance were sent to the scene.  
It has been claimed the Class 43 Inter7City train had six crew members and six passengers on board, and it was the 6.38am departure from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, which called at Stonehaven at 6.53am.
The train is said to have stopped south of Carmont having seen a landslip. It is then believed to have returned north, initially on the southbound line, before crossing over to the northbound line at Carmont - and then hit a second landslip and derailed.
It comes after severe flooding in the area overnight which led to flash flooding in Aberdeen and widespread disruption across ScotRail following thunderstorms. 
Network Rail tweeted a video filmed in the same area minutes after the incident at 9.49am, showing flooding on the line and saying that trains could not run. 
Rail industry sources said the suspected cause was a landslip. The train involved was made up of a locomotive and four carriages. It is understood that the locomotive and three carriages derailed, and slid down the embankment. 
Dramatic video footage showed smoke billowing from the area with at least seven ambulances on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines. 
Based on the smoke rising from the scene, the train appears to have derailed near to a bend in the tracks close to Carmont. The portion of railway has rivers running alongside and under it in some areas. 
Emergency services are using a field just north-west of the tracks to base their response this afternoon. The tracks are flanked by thick vegetation, with wooded areas to the south-eastern side.
The RMT union confirmed it was now a 'rescue operation' and nearby hospital Aberdeen Royal Infirmary reported a major incident, while local MP Andrew Bowie said the flooding situation had been 'really bad' in the area. 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today: '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.'
It comes as homes were flooded, streets turned into rivers and properties were set on fire by lightning strikes as Britain's heatwave was interrupted today by thunderstorms and a month's worth of rain in just three hours.
Scotland was hit by 17,000 lightning strikes in just 12 hours, as a landslide shut a road in Fife and there was a major outage at an exchange in Edinburgh affecting 100,000 customers' broadband on BT, EE and Plusnet.
Communities further south also face flash flooding today and tomorrow with further intense thunderstorms expected to inundate parts of Southern England with up to three inches of rain today - about a month's average.

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