Driver and conductor confirmed dead after train derails in Scotland

12 August 2020, 20:40

Images from the scene show a huge emergency services response
Images from the scene show a huge emergency services response. Picture: BBC
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Three people, including the driver and a conductor, have been confirmed dead after a train derailed in Aberdeenshire.

Police confirmed six other people, believed to be passengers on the train, have been taken to hospital after the train came off the tracks on the Dundee-Aberdeen line just before 10am, close to the old Carmont station, near Stonehaven.

The 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service crashed on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain and flooding.

The Queen sent her condolences following the incident, saying "it was with great sadness that I heard of the train derailment" and that the entire Royal Family "join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who have died and those who have been injured".

Speaking at Stonehaven police station, chief inspector Brian McAleese said the derailed train was not a busy service and that all passengers are accounted for.

He said emergency services remain on the scene and confirmed that three people were pronounced dead, including the driver of the train.

'Major incident' as train derails in Scotland following torrential rain

He added that a full search of the area would be conducted by officers.

Pictures posted from the scene showed at least six ambulance vehicles, an air ambulance and a number of police response cars at the scene. Smoke could be seen billowing in the background.

The RMT union confirmed the death of the driver.

RMT senior assistant general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The confirmation that there have been three fatalities in the Stonehaven derailment, including the driver and one of our conductor members, is the most dreadful news and this trade union's thoughts are with the families, colleagues and friends of those who have lost their lives in this tragedy.

"RMT will unite to provide support, assistance and solidarity at this distressing time. Safety on the railway has to be an absolute priority and this union will be working with the various agencies to establish the facts behind this disaster which has sent shock waves right throughout our industry."

Scottish Fire and Rescue said they have deployed 12 mobile units to deal with the incident.

Local resident sees plume of smoke after train derails in Scotland

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "saddened" by what has happened.

He 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."

Local MP Andrew Bowie said he had spoken to the UK's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who is liaising with Network Rail Scotland and ScotRail about the derailment.

"Thoughts with every single person involved," Mr Bowie, the Tory MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said on Twitter.

"Will update more when I can."

Scottish Conservative leader in Holyrood Ruth Davidson also expressed her party's sympathies with those involved in the derailment in Stonehaven.

She said: "May I add the thoughts of my party to those already been expressed regarding the incident in Stonehaven today.

"It is clear that this incident is serious and it will have affected a number of families across Scotland.

"We think of them at this time and also those emergency workers who are currently in attendance."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "My thoughts are with everyone involved in the serious incident in Aberdeenshire.

"Thank you to all the emergency services."

British Transport Police said in a statement this afternoon that three people, including the driver, have been pronounced dead at the scene of the train derailment in Stonehaven, in Scotland, and six people have been taken to hospital.

ScotRail said they were "assisting the emergency services with an incident near Stonehaven and will provide more information when available."

Network Rail Scotland is also working alongside the emergency services.

A spokesperson said earlier: “It is too early to confirm the exact nature and severity of the incident and more details will be made available once known.”

National Rail Enquiries warned trains between Aberdeen and Glasgow Queen Street may be cancelled or revised due to the incident.

There has been travel disruption across Scotland after a night of torrential rain.

Mick Lynch, the assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: "RMT is aware of the major incident at Stonehaven and our reps are liaising directly at senior level with both Scotrail and Network Rail.

"Our priority at this time is to support our members, their colleagues and their families and to do all that we can to assist the rescue operation which RMT members are currently involved in.

"The facts behind this incident will need to be established in due course but at this stage we are focused on support and assistance and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy."