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Emergency services on scene after trains collide near Salisbury

Emergency

Emergency services on scene after trains collide near Salisbury

Emergency services have scrambled to respond to a collision of two trains near Salisbury on Sunday night, in a critical incident that left one train carriage derailed.

About 50 firefighters from Dorset and Wiltshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and South Western fire and emergency  rescue services are at the scene, which is close to London Road in Salisbury, along with Wiltshire police and Network Rail.

The British Transport Police (BTP) said: “There have been no fatalities, however a number of people have been injured.

“Most of these people are walking wounded however a small number, including the driver, have been taken to hospital where their injuries are being assessed.

“A major incident has been declared and this has been a large scale, multi-agency response working closely alongside our colleagues in Wiltshire. We will remain on scene throughout the night working to establish the full circumstances of how this incident came to happen.”

The BTP said a casualty centre has been set up at St Mark’s Church in Salisbury. Train services in the area have been halted.

Dimitri Popa, 17, was on the first train carriage travelling from London Waterloo. “It all happened very fast. There was a big crash, then I saw flames,” he said.

“The carriage was 45 degrees to the right. We didn’t know where we were or anything, we were very shocked.”

Morgan Harris, 20, travelling on the same train, was thrown from his seat. “It was all going along normally then all of a sudden there was a massive bang and all of the lights went out,” he said.

“There [were] sparks and flames from where we had come off the track. There was a load of ash coming from outside. Our train was on its side. I was thrown out of my seat and I banged around the table.”

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said investigations into the crash would be undertaken in order to help prevent similar “serious” incidents in future.

The BTP said officers were called at 6.46pm and responded to an incident at Fisherton Tunnel, Salisbury. Citing a Network Rail spokesperson, PA reported that shortly before 7pm the rear carriage of a GWR train struck an object on its approach to Salisbury station and came off the tracks.

“The derailment knocked out all of the signalling in the area,” the Network Rail spokesperson added. “Subsequently, the 17.20 South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Honiton then collided with the Bristol train.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “We will have to await further details, but this is a very sobering reminder about why safety on our railways is always paramount.

“The thoughts of our entire union are with the loved ones of everyone caught up in what may well turn out to be a tragic event.

“No doubt that over the coming days and weeks we will find out why this accident happened. A full investigation will now need to follow.”

A Great Western Railway spokesperson said: “Emergency services are responding to an incident at Fisherton Tunnel near Salisbury station, involving the 17.08 GWR service between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Temple Meads and the 17.20 SWR services from London Waterloo to Honiton.”

The line will be closed in the area on Monday, affecting SWR trains between Exeter and Basingstoke, and GWR trains between Westbury and Portsmouth.

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2023: NBC Tasks Broadcasters On Professionalism

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has tasked broadcasters to handle political campaigns with professionalism.

The director-general of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah said this on Monday at a multi-stakeholders dialogue held in Abuja.

As campaigns for the 2023 elections are set to begin on September 28, Ilelah asked broadcasters to ensure not to allow hate speech or fake news on their platforms.

“This is in addition to ensuring equity in airtime allocation and coverage of political parties’ activities, particularly during prime times,” he said.

“It is also the time for you to make money from political adverts and campaigns, but ensure that this is done within the ambit of law.

“Broadcasters are also required to handle live political rallies with care and due professionalism. This is in addition to studio-based live political interviews/broadcasts. Because of the sensitivities of such programmes, broadcasters are advised to install delay mechanisms.

“Remember that broadcast stations are held responsible for any breach. The stations shall, therefore, assume and accept editorial responsibility”, he added.

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IPOB Accuses Police Of Blackmail

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to a statement credited to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, linking ESN and IPOB to a planned attack on political campaigns and the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Director of Media and Public Relations of the group, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday, said the IG of Police should “leave IPOB volunteers and ESN Operatives alone to focus on things that matter instead of trying to get them involved in Nigeria Government and its fraudulent political processes.”

He also added that Nigeria’s security agencies were fond of blackmailing the organization with allegations of sundry crimes.

The statement read: “If Nigeria Police have concluded their plans to commit crimes during political campaigns and tag it on IPOB and ESN they will fail as usual.

“Any time Nigeria Security Agencies raise a false alarm, know that they have planned attacks to blackmail IPOB and ESN Operatives but we cannot allow them to continue their business of blackmail.

“These Security agencies have allegedly killed innocent people in an effort to blackmail IPOB but Chukwu Okike Abiama (God) has always vindicated us,” they said.

“We have always maintained that we are not interested in anything that has to do with Nigeria let alone taking any side in their fraudulent political process. IPOB are not Zoo politicians. The only political process that IPOB will participate in is an UN-supervised Biafra Referendum that will usher in Biafra Sovereignty and Independence”, he added.

 

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ASUU: F.G Makes U-turn, Withdraws Circular Ordering Resumption

The Federal Government on Monday withdrew its earlier circular which directed vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

This is coming hours after the government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), directed the opening of varsities in compliance with National Industrial Court order.

A circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice chancellors, pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

Hours after, in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which was also signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022 on the above subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils, as well as vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards.”

The university teachers began a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, and extended it thrice after the Federal Government failed to meet up with its demands.

 

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