Driver, conductor and one other confirmed dead after train derails

Three people have died and six are injured after a train derailment in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

A major incident was declared on Wednesday morning after it is believed a landslide caused the train to derail and crash, before bursting into flames in Stonehaven.

The 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service, which comprised a locomotive and four carriages, crashed after a night of torrential rain and flooding in the area. It is understood the locomotive and three carriages derailed and slid down an embankment.

A train conductor and the driver were among those confirmed dead, while six people have been taken to hospital but are not thought to be seriously hurt. All passengers who were onboard have now been accounted for, said police.

British Transport Police’s Chief Spt Eddie Wylie offered his condolences to the families and friends of victims who had lost their lives in the ‘tragic accident’.

He added: ‘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’.

He added that he knew ‘many people will understandably have questions’ and that an investigation will be launched into the causes of the crash.

Emergency services, including an air ambulance, were scrambled to the scene at 9.40am. Nine minutes later, Network Rail Scotland shared a video on social media showing a landslip on the track at Carmont, which is thought to be close to the scene of the crash.

Network Rail tweeted at 9.49am: ‘At Carmont, we’ve had reports of a landslip, which means services can’t operate between Dundee & Aberdeen.’

Train operator ScotRail posted a message on Twitter shortly after 6.30am warning services across Scotland would be disrupted due to ‘extremely’ heavy rain and flooding.

Scotland organiser for the Aslef train drivers union, Kevin Lindsay, said it is ‘too early to speculate’ about the causes, it appears that appalling weather conditions ‘resulted in a landslip which, in turn, caused the train to derail’.

He said that all involved in the investigation ‘will learn those lessons, as we have in the past, because the railway is one of the safest modes of transport’.

Mr Lindsay added: ‘The UK has some of the safest railways in the world, and Scotland is the safest part of the UK, but that does not, of course, diminish the impact of today’s crash on all those involved.’

‘Our thoughts tonight are with these men and women and their families,’ he added.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also said her thoughts were with all those involved, adding that the tragedy had happened in ‘a very difficult location for emergency services to access’.

She also tweeted the NHS Grampian helpline number, adding: ‘Anyone worried about friends or family involved in the Stonehaven rail incident can call 01224 319519 for advice and support.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘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.’

The last time a train driver was killed in a crash on Britain’s railways was in Berkshire in November 2004, the Office of Rail and Road said.

Seven people died when a train collided with a car that had been deliberately driven on to a level crossing at Ufton Nervet.

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