Connect with us


Salisbury train crash driver suffers ‘life-changing’ injuries


Salisbury train crash driver suffers ‘life-changing’ injuries

A train driver suffered “life-changing” injuries and 13 passengers, including a child, needed hospital treatment after two trains collided as they entered a tunnel in Salisbury.

British Transport Police (BTP) said on Monday that they could not rule out foul play but officers do not believe one of the trains was derailed as it hit an object on the line, as had originally been thought.

It is understood that police and the rail investigation branch are focusing on issues including the signalling and points, human error and weather conditions at the time.

Speaking outside Salisbury railway station, Supt Lisa Garrett, of BTP, said the crash happened at about 6.45pm on Sunday when the Great Western Railway (GWR) service from Southampton to Cardiff collided with a South Western Railway train from London Waterloo to Honiton in Devon as both entered the Fisherton tunnel, close to the city centre.

Garrett said: “Both trains were travelling in the same direction and one train struck the other, causing it to derail while in the tunnel. The front few carriages remained upright while the back tipped on their side.”

There were a total of 92 passengers on both trains. About 30 people attended a casualty centre set up in a nearby church. Most were “walking wounded” but 13 passengers were taken to Salisbury district hospital by ambulance, where they received treatment for minor injuries. One remained in hospital in Salisbury on Monday afternoon.

Garrett added: “The driver of the train was more seriously injured and his injuries are believed to be life-changing. He remains in hospital in a stable condition and his family have been informed.”

The driver, who was at the controls of the South Western train, had to be cut from the cab and is believed to be in hospital in Southampton.

Garrett said a senior detective had been appointed to find out how the trains came together in the tunnel. BTP said it was working with the rail investigation branch and the office of rail and road.

She said: “We are keeping an open mind but there has been nothing to suggest the train stuck an object or there was any significant delay between the trains colliding and one derailing.”

Garrett said there was no evidence the driver of the train that had been hit had activated his GPRS button, which warns signallers and other drivers of an emergency.

Asked if they had ruled out that anything criminal was involved, she said: “We haven’t ruled out foul play; until the investigation has concluded, we cannot confirm why this has happened.”

Passengers told of their horror at the crash.

Alan Crocker, a former Royal Navy sailor, who was travelling home to Exmouth, Devon, with his wife, Wendy, said they were travelling at about 20mph when the collision happened.

He said: “The impact was quite weird. There was a jolt and a juddering which I imagine was the train leaving the rails. There was a fireball and a little bit of smoke coming through the train.

“There was a smell of diesel; that was a real concern. That was my initial concern: was there a fire and was there going to be smoke? Our carriage had gone off at a 35-degree tilt.”

Dimitri Popa, 17, was in the first carriage of the London Waterloo train. “It all happened very fast. There was a big crash, then I saw flames,” he said. “We didn’t know where we were or anything, we were very shocked.”

Morgan Harris, 20, who was 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. Our train was on its side. I was thrown out of my seat and I banged around the table.”

Asked about railway safety, a spokesperson for the prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: “It’s obviously a top priority for this government, which is why we’ve allocated £40bn-worth of spending to ensure that the railways continue to be one of the safest in the world.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

16 − 4 =


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.

Continue Reading


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.


Continue Reading


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.


Continue Reading