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The weather ‘affected’ the fatal train wreck near Stonehaven



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Media titleAerial footage shows the shutdown of the passenger train in Aberdeenshire

Extreme weather had an impact on the train crash in Aberdeenshire which left three people dead, Scotland Transport Secretary said.

Michael Matheson said an investigation into the accident will determine what lessons can be learned.

Driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and a passenger died when the Aberdeen service in Glasgow left near Stonehaven on Wednesday.

The train is thought to have struck a landslide after rain and storm.

Six other people who were on duty at 6:38 a.m. Aberdeen on Glasgow Queen Street were taken to hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be serious.

  • Three dead after passenger train crash

Mr Matheson arrived at the scene of the crash Thursday morning.

He said: “What we do not want to do at this particular point is to start speculating on what really caused it.

“What I think we can appreciate, however, is that the weather has had an impact.

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Mr Matheson visited Aberdeenshire on Thursday morning

“We are seeing an increasingly high level of those localized intense weather events affecting the transport network, including the rail network.

“What we need to do as part of the investigation is to determine to what extent there has been an impact and also to see what lessons can be learned.”

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He said parts of the country had seen a month of rain in just a few hours on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

He said the crash happened as the train driver was heading north, trying to return to Aberdeen.

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Emergency services were called to the area Wednesday morning

It turned out that a crew member got off the stopped train to stop any other train on the track.

Mr Matheson said recovery crews had been working overnight to stabilize the site and make it ready for investigators trying to understand how the accident happened.

The British Transport Police, the Railroad Accident Investigation Branch and inspectors from the Railways and Roads Office – the independent regulator – are involved in the investigation.

Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organizer for the Aslef train drivers union, said the tragic accident had affected everyone in the railway family.

“Brett thought of his family world and his colleagues thought of his world,” he added.

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UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps also plans to travel to the scene later.

He said he wanted to “try to understand the situation in the first place and offer every possible help”.

Network CEO Andrew Haines is also expected to travel to Stonehaven after cutting short a family holiday in Italy.

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Photos from the scene showed damaged carts lying across the track

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio program, ScotRail managing director Alex Hynes said: “Yesterday was a devastating day for anyone working in the Scottish railway industry.

“Our love and support is extended to the victims of this accident and their families, to those injured in the accident and to everyone affected by yesterday’s horrific tragedy.”

The Queen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have paid tribute to those killed in the “tragic” incident.

A CCTV review at the stations where the train had stopped suggested that there were nine people on the train, including the crew, at the time of the accident.

Ch Supt Eddie Wylie, from the British Transport Police, said he believed all passengers were counted.

He added: “Once the area has been made safe, then a full and thorough search will be done, which is likely to take some time.

“I know many people will have clear questions and we will work closely together with the Railroad Accident Investigation Branch and the Railway and Road Office to establish the full circumstances of how the train came crashing.”


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