Salisbury train crash: Driver sustained life-changing injuries, police say

1 November 2021, 14:24 | Updated: 2 November 2021, 01:05

By James Morris

A driver involved in the Salisbury train collision has sustained life-changing injuries, police have said.

His condition was revealed by police today after two trains collided on Sunday evening as they both entered the Fisherton Tunnel in Salisbury.

British Transport Police (BTP) said: "Unfortunately, the driver of the train was more seriously injured and his injuries are believed to be life-changing.

"He also remains in hospital in a stable condition this morning, and his family have been informed."

Firefighters at the scene of the collision today
Firefighters at the scene of the collision today. Picture: Alamy

Thirteen other people were hospitalised, but with minor injuries. Only one of those remains in hospital.

The two trains involved were a Great Western Railway service from Southampton to Cardiff and a South Western Railway service from London to Honiton. They were carrying 92 passengers.

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

The scene of the train collision in Salisbury on Sunday
The scene of the train collision in Salisbury on Sunday. Picture: Getty

BTP said it is now in the "investigation" phase of the response operation, "which will involve the trains remaining in situ for some time".

It said a "senior detective has been appointed to lead the enquiries as we work to establish the full circumstances of how this incident came to happen".

Det Ch Insp Paul Langley said: “This will no doubt have been an incredibly frightening experience for all those involved and our thoughts are with them and their families today.

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“Specialist officers and detectives remain on scene in Salisbury and we are working closely alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and the Office of Rail and Road to establish exactly how these two trains came to collide.

“We are keeping an open mind but at this early stage there has been nothing to suggest the train struck an object or that there was any significant delay between the trains colliding and then one derailing.

“This has been a large scale, multi-agency operation and I would like to pay particular to thanks to our emergency service colleagues for their efforts in safely evacuating passengers, and to the many members of the local community who reached out with offers of help.”

Officials from the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) attended the scene.
Officials from the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) attended the scene. Picture: Alamy

Downing Street said the Prime Minister's thoughts were with those injured in the Salisbury train crash but the Government was investing to ensure the railway network remained "one of the safest in the world".

A Number 10 spokesman said: "The RAIB have been deployed to the site and are conducting forensic investigations, obviously the Prime Minister's thoughts remain with those who were affected by the incident.

"It would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time while the RAIB are working to investigate what happened."

The spokesman added: "I think it's important that we let the RAIB investigate this thoroughly, but more generally in terms of safety standards on the network it's obviously a top priority for this Government, which is why we have allocated £40 billion worth of spending to ensure that the railways continue to be one of the safest in the world."