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Pictured: Father, 62, from Aberdeen who was a passenger on ScotRail train

Pictured: Chris Stuchbury, 62, who was killed when a ScotRail passenger train derailed near Stonehaven yesterday

Pictured: Chris Stuchbury, 62, who was killed when a ScotRail passenger train derailed near Stonehaven yesterday

A father who was a passenger on the ScotRail train which derailed on a ‘flood-hit’ line in Aberdeenshire yesterday has been named as the third victim of the tragedy.

Chris Stuchbury, 62, died alongside train driver Brett McCullough, 45, and conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, when a service derailed yesterday morning close to Carmont Railway station, near Stonehaven.     

Mr Stuchbury, who has family in Burghead, Moray, was confirmed among the dead after his family shared an image of them together to social media, the Daily Record reported.

Friends of the devastated family were quick to share their sympathies, with one writing: ‘My heart is broken for you all.’ 

Six others were rushed to hospital following the crash, while four firefighters were injured while helping in the aftermath of the derailment.     

The train slipped from the tracks after hitting a landslip in the area, which had recently been hit by major flooding.

Today, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash.

Meanwhile, in a visit to the site, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed it was ‘far too soon’ to say whether cutbacks to Network Rail contributed to derailment.

His comments come as it was revealed National Rail had been warned about the network’s resilience to severe weather just four weeks before yesterday’s horror derailment.

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months.

It also noted a spike in landslips, demonstrating the ‘vulnerability’ of the network, and criticised Network Rail’s plans to address climate change and extreme weather, which it said were ‘not keeping up with the frequency and severity of these events’.

Speaking when the report was published last month, HM chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: ‘The last year saw significant increases in flooding, earthwork failures and trains striking trees on the line, which had a big impact on the number of delays on the network.

Pictured: Brett McCullough

Pictured: Brett McCullough

Pictured: Donald Dinnie

Pictured: Donald Dinnie

Train driver Brett McCullough (left), 45, tragically died alongside conductor Donald Dinnie (right) when a ScotRail passenger service slipped from the tracks  near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire on Wednesday

Investigators are today probing a horror derailment which killed three people after a train slipped from a 'flood-hit' line in Scotland - just four weeks after track operators were warned of a spike in dangerous landslips.

Investigators are today probing a horror derailment which killed three people after a train slipped from a 'flood-hit' line in Scotland - just four weeks after track operators were warned of a spike in dangerous landslips.

Investigators are today probing a horror derailment which killed three people after a train slipped from a ‘flood-hit’ line in Scotland – just four weeks after track operators were warned of a spike in dangerous landslips.

Flames are pictured coming out of one of the carriages following the accident near Stonehaven yesterday morning

Flames are pictured coming out of one of the carriages following the accident near Stonehaven yesterday morning

Flames are pictured coming out of one of the carriages following the accident near Stonehaven yesterday morning

Three died and several others were also taken to hospital, including four firefighters who were injured while helping to deal with the derailment

Three died and several others were also taken to hospital, including four firefighters who were injured while helping to deal with the derailment

Three died and several others were also taken to hospital, including four firefighters who were injured while helping to deal with the derailment

Today, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash

Today, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash

Today, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain's railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain's railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months

‘It is so important that the sector employs best practice if we are to meet all the pressures on the network in the future and to make sure the railway plays its full role on climate change and reducing carbon emissions.’

In its response, Network Rail said the railway was designed for a temperate climate and is ‘challenged’ by prolonged periods of high and low temperatures, storms and floods.

How the Stonehaven train tragedy unfolded

6.38am: Despite heavy rain overnight in the area, the train left Aberdeen station as normal, bound for Glasgow Queen Street. 

6.53am: The train calls at Stonehaven station as normal, before departing and heading south. 

Between 6.53am and 9.40am: After leaving Stonehaven, the train continued south, before encountering a landslip, caused by torrential rain.  

It began to return north to Stonehaven, initially remaining on the southbound line before crossing at Carmont onto the northbound line. It then hit a second landslip and derailed while returning to Stonehaven.

9.40am: First reports of the incident were received by Police Scotland at 9.40am, but it is unclear if there was a delay between the derailment and it being reported. 

There remains a gap of several hours between the train leaving Stonehaven and the derailment being reported to police. 

Network Rail Scotland told MailOnline the exact timeline will emerge as the picture of events becomes clearer.   

9.49am: Network Rail Scotland reports that a landslip on the same line at Carmont means that services are no longer running in the area.  

It added: ‘Our climate is changing and we’re seeing more and more of these types of incidents.

‘We are acutely aware they must be addressed and we have drawn up comprehensive plans to do so.

‘There is no quick fix but we will continue to review the way the railway operates in extreme weather and build resilience into all of our plans.’

Today the  rail infrastructure body said it will use in-house engineers, specialist contractors and helicopter surveys to inspect other high-risk routes following yesterday’s crash.

All ‘higher risk’ sites where railway lines have been built through ground excavation and are similar to the location of yesterday’s fatal accident will receive these ‘supplementary specialist inspections’.

Dozens of sites across Britain will be assessed.

Network Rail also said it is working with meteorologists to strengthen the information it receives about flash flooding caused by extreme weather, so it can improve the way it deals with train operations.

Yesterday, British Transport Police’s chief inspector Brian McAleese said an investigation into the derailment would be directed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

He added they ‘will also be working closely with them along with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and Office of Road and Rail to establish the full circumstances of how this train came to derail’.  

Today, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government’s Michael Matheson have both visited the area and met with members of the emergency services.

Mr Matheson said the derailment was an ‘absolutely tragic event’.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: ‘My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by this, particularly to the families and friends of those who were killed in this incident yesterday.

‘My thoughts are very much with them and I also hope those injured in the course of this incident are able to make a speedy recovery.’

Today, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government's Michael Matheson (pictured here arriving) will both visit the area on Thursday and meet members of the emergency services

Today, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government's Michael Matheson (pictured here arriving) will both visit the area on Thursday and meet members of the emergency services

Today, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government’s Michael Matheson (pictured here arriving) will both visit the area on Thursday and meet members of the emergency services

Mr Matheson (pictured speaking to police) thanked emergency services for 'their dedication and professionalism', while adding that climate change was having an 'increasing challenge' for the rail network.

Mr Matheson (pictured speaking to police) thanked emergency services for 'their dedication and professionalism', while adding that climate change was having an 'increasing challenge' for the rail network.

Mr Matheson (pictured speaking to police) thanked emergency services for ‘their dedication and professionalism’, while adding that climate change was having an ‘increasing challenge’ for the rail network.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media during a visit to the scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media during a visit to the scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media during a visit to the scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Emergency services were seen at the area of the derailment today following the incident yesterday, which left three people dead

Emergency services were seen at the area of the derailment today following the incident yesterday, which left three people dead

Emergency services were seen at the area of the derailment today following the incident yesterday, which left three people dead

A Network Rail helicopter at the scene of the derailment today. Network Rail has promised to review other high-risk sites in the wake of the derailment

A Network Rail helicopter at the scene of the derailment today. Network Rail has promised to review other high-risk sites in the wake of the derailment

A Network Rail helicopter at the scene of the derailment today. Network Rail has promised to review other high-risk sites in the wake of the derailment

He also thanked emergency services for ‘their dedication and professionalism’, while adding that climate change was having an ‘increasing challenge’ for the rail network and that a report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) into the incident would reveal whether mitigation works needed to be increased.

Mr Matheson said: ‘We’ve already experienced significant disruption to the Scottish rail network as a result of these localised, intense weather events.

‘They (Network Rail) are well aware of our views about the need to make sure that we are taking forward the right types of mitigations that help to manage a challenge of these types of localised, intense weather events.

‘I think one of the things we will see what comes from the investigation is whether the pace of that type of mitigation work needs to be stepped up, that’s not just a challenge across Scotland, it’s across the whole of the UK. 

‘I think it would be reasonable to presume, without unduly speculating, that weather had an impact in this particular incident.’ 

Speaking at the derailment site, Mr Shapps said his heart goes out to the friends and family of the people involved.

Emergency services inspect the scene near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, today following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people

Emergency services inspect the scene near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, today following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people

Emergency services inspect the scene near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, today following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people

Pictured: The scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire today following the crash yesterday morning

Pictured: The scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire today following the crash yesterday morning

Pictured: The scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire today following the crash yesterday morning

Emergency services were today inspecting the track where the ScotRail derailed yesterday morning, killing three people

Emergency services were today inspecting the track where the ScotRail derailed yesterday morning, killing three people

Emergency services were today inspecting the track where the ScotRail derailed yesterday morning, killing three people

Parts of the ScotRail train were seen scattered across the ground near the track following the tragedy yesterday morning

Parts of the ScotRail train were seen scattered across the ground near the track following the tragedy yesterday morning

Parts of the ScotRail train were seen scattered across the ground near the track following the tragedy yesterday morning

Three died in the derailment, including the train driver, conductor and a passenger. Six others were rushed to hospital

Three died in the derailment, including the train driver, conductor and a passenger. Six others were rushed to hospital

Three died in the derailment, including the train driver, conductor and a passenger. Six others were rushed to hospital

He said: ‘One thing I can say having been here today and met people involved and seen the scene for myself is we absolutely must make sure we learn every possible lesson from a tragedy like this.’ 

Asked whether cuts to Network Rail had contributed to the derailment, Mr Shapps said: ‘I think it’s far too soon to jump to conclusions about what’s happened here.

‘My observation is that a flash flood seems to wreaked havoc at the scene behind us.

‘Rail, in general, has an enormous budget – £46 billion – over what’s called a controlled period.

‘It’s record sums of money, we’ve never spent more on our railways. But I don’t want to get into speculation, let’s find the facts.’

Tributes paid to train driver and conductor killed in derailment 

Touching tributes have been paid to two of the three people killed in yesterday’s train derailment.

Union chiefs say colleagues and family members ‘thought the world’ of train driver Brett McCullough, 45, who died yesterday. 

Meanwhile, in a statement his heartbroken family said: ‘Words cannot describe the utterly devastating effect of Brett’s death on his family and friends.

‘We have lost a wonderful husband, father, and son in the most awful of circumstances.

‘Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.’ 

Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organiser for the train drivers union Aslef, said: ‘The tragic accident at Stonehaven has affected everyone in the railway family.

‘Brett thought the world of his family, and his colleagues thought the world of him.’ 

Tributes were also paid to conductor Donald Dinnie.  

Bryan Pithie, believed to be a fellow rail worker of Mr Dinnie, paid an emotional tribute to his ‘very good friend’ on social media.

Posting on his Facebook page, Mr Pithie, from Montrose, Angus, said: ‘Well l would say good morning from a beautiful beach well today is not a good morning.

‘l lost a very good friend yesterday at the train derailment yesterday, Donald Dinnie you were a great friend always there for me and you were a great guy.

‘l will always remember the good laughs we had on the train and l will always remember when I finished night shift you always told me to go into first class and you would bring me a cup of tea and tell me to have a sleep and you would waking me up before Montrose and he did.

‘l am sitting down at the beach writing this with a tear in my eyes and looking out to the north sea.

‘RIP Donald you were a great friend and l will not forget everything you did for me.’

Confirming her relative was among the dead on Facebook, Linda Spark said: ‘So sad that one of our relatives Donald Dinnie was a victim of the train accident in Aberdeen. Why is it always the good ones?’

Others remembered the ScotRail worker as a ‘lovely man’ who ‘always had time to chat.’

His colleague Donna McKessick said: ‘I worked on the tea trolleys for years at the railway. He was lovely. So tragic for all involved especially the families of those who lost loved ones today.’

Today, ScotRail’s managing director Alex Hynes, speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, described yesterday’s derailment as a ‘devastating day for everybody who works in the rail industry in Scotland’.

He added that the UK had the ‘safest railways in Europe’ and that it had been 13 years since a similar incident had taken place in the country.

His comments come as train driver Mr McCullough, 45, and conductor Donald Dinnie were named as two of the victims of the derailment. The third victim, a passenger, has not yet been identified. 

Dramatic photographs showed the scale of devastation with a further six people taken to hospital after the crash at 9.40am yesterday.

At least 30 emergency vehicles and an air ambulance were sent to the scene. 

Mr McCullough was described by his devastated colleagues as a ‘lovely man’ who has worked in the railways for ‘about six years.’

The father lives around 15 minutes from the site of the crash, the Daily Record reported.  His wife Stephanie confirmed her husband had died in the derailment at their family home in Drumlithie yesterday.

He had been a train driver for seven years and was a former gas engineer who decided to switch careers after servicing the boiler of a railway worker, according to sources.

Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organiser for the train drivers union Aslef, said: ‘The tragic accident at Stonehaven has affected everyone in the railway family. Brett thought the world of his family, and his colleagues thought the world of him.’ 

Tributes have also poured in for Mr Dinnie, who was described as a ‘great guy’ who ‘always had a smile on his face.’

His death came nine weeks after his sister Karen, 59, passed away suddenly at home. 

Confirming her relative was among the dead on Facebook, Linda Spark said: ‘So sad that one of our relatives Donald Dinnie was a victim of the train accident in Aberdeen. Why is it always the good ones?’

Others remembered the ScotRail worker as a ‘lovely man’ who ‘always had time to chat.’

His colleague Donna McKessick said: ‘I worked on the tea trolleys for years at the railway. He was lovely.  So tragic for all involved especially the families of those who lost loved ones today.’ 

Neil Duncan added: ‘Absolutely shocked to learn Donald is not with us any more. He was a great guy, always up for a laugh. Thinking of his family at this time.’ 

Bryan Pithie, believed to be a fellow rail worker of Mr Dinnie, paid an emotional tribute to his ‘very good friend’ on social media.

Posting on his Facebook page, Mr Pithie, from Montrose, Angus, said: ‘Well l would say good morning from a beautiful beach well today is not a good morning.

‘l lost a very good friend yesterday at the train derailment yesterday, Donald Dinnie you were a great friend always there for me and you were a great guy.’

Speaking of the double tragedy for Mr Dinnie’s parents after his sister Karen passed away in June, their sister Elaine McKechnie wrote: ‘You’re in the arms of an angel. Karen will look out for you RIP Bro.

‘Two kids. Nine weeks apart.” 

Today, ScotRail’s managing director Alex Hynes, speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, said: ‘Yesterday was a devastating day for everybody who works in the rail industry in Scotland.

‘Our love and support is sent to the victims of this accident and their families, those that were injured in the accident and anybody who was touched by yesterday’s terrible tragedy.’

The Class 43 Inter7City train is said to have had six crew members and six passengers on board what was the 6.38am departure from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, which called at Stonehaven at 6.53am. 

The train is believed to have stopped south of Carmont having seen a landslip.

It is then believed to have returned north, initially on the southbound line, before crossing over to the northbound line at Carmont – and then hit a second landslip and derailed. 

The derailment comes after severe flooding in the area on Tuesday night which led to flash flooding in Aberdeen and widespread disruption across ScotRail following thunderstorms.    

The Scottish Government had reinstated local lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen a week ago after a spike in coronavirus cases, meaning the number travelling was significantly lower than normal, it is understood. 

Rail industry sources said the train stopped due to a landslip and moved back along the line when it crashed into another landslip. 

Four firefighters injured after train derailed as two are taken to hospital

Four firefighters have been injured while attempting to deal with yesterday’s derailment.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said four firefighters were injured while dealing with the incident yesterday. 

Assistant chief officer Paul Stewart told BBC Scotland: ‘It was clearly a very difficult and hazardous scene yesterday and it remains so and we take the safety of our crews very seriously indeed.

‘We did have the unfortunate event of four firefighters receiving minor injuries at the scene yesterday.

‘Two attended hospital for a precautionary check up and two remained at the scene, so a very hazardous and difficult scene but something that the fire and rescue service is well able to manage and deal with.’

 

The train was made up of a locomotive and four carriages. It is thought the locomotive and three carriages derailed, and slid down the embankment.

The Aslef train drivers’ union saying it then caught fire.

The Queen has sent a message of condolence, 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’.

Meanwhile, local church leaders have said the community is ‘shocked and bewildered’ by the incident. 

Andrew Morrison, from Arbuthnott, Bervie and Kinneff Church told the Evening Express: ‘There is a real sense of shock and bewilderment at what’s happened. You think it’s something which will never happen in your area.

‘We need to have open hearts, minds and arms for the people who have been affected by this terrible incident.

‘This community has been absolutely wonderful in the past when it has come to rallying round those in need, and I have confidence they will do so again.’

North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald described the event as a ‘grim day’ for the area. 

A Sepa spokeswoman said that between the hours of six and 10am yesterday, 79mm of rain was recorded at the Sepa rain gauge at Dunnotter (Stonehaven).

British Transport Police (BTP) said those pronounced dead at the scene near Stonehaven include the train’s driver, and the RMT union confirmed that one of those who lost their life in the incident was the train conductor.  

Network Rail tweeted a video filmed in the same area minutes after the incident at 9.49am, showing flooding on the line and saying that trains could not run.   

Dramatic video footage showed smoke billowing from the area yesterday with at least seven ambulances on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines.

Three people have died after a ScotRail service derailed and crashed down an embankment in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Three people have died after a ScotRail service derailed and crashed down an embankment in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Three people have died after a ScotRail service derailed and crashed down an embankment in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Derailed carriages are seen at the scene of a train crash near Stonehaven in northeast Scotland on August 12

A Major Emergency involving fire and ambulance crews after a train derailed near Stonehaven in Scotland, August 12

Emergency services work near the scene of a derailed passenger train, near Stonehaven, Scotland, August 12

Emergency services work near the scene of a derailed passenger train, near Stonehaven, Scotland, August 12

Emergency services work near the scene of a derailed passenger train, near Stonehaven, Scotland, August 12

 

An aerial view of the ScotRail train derailment which took place on the Aberdeen-Dundee line yesterday afternoon

An aerial view of the ScotRail train derailment which took place on the Aberdeen-Dundee line yesterday afternoon

An aerial view of the ScotRail train derailment which took place on the Aberdeen-Dundee line yesterday afternoon

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines cut short a family holiday in Italy following the news. He arrived at the crash site earlier today

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines cut short a family holiday in Italy following the news. He arrived at the crash site earlier today

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines cut short a family holiday in Italy following the news. He arrived at the crash site earlier today

Based on the smoke rising from the scene, the train appears to have derailed near to a bend in the tracks close to Carmont. The portion of railway has rivers running alongside and under it in some areas. 

Emergency services yesterday used a field just north-west of the tracks to base their response. The tracks are flanked by thick vegetation, with woodland to the south-east. 

Following the news, Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines cut short a family holiday in Italy. He arrived at the crash site earlier today.

He said: ‘My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy, especially the friends and families of the three people who died and those that are injured.

‘I want to express my thanks to my colleagues at Network Rail, the British Transport Police and all the emergency services who responded so quickly and professionally and continue to do so.

‘Questions are inevitably being asked as to how this could happen and I am determined that we understand the circumstances that led to this devastating event.

‘It’s too early to draw conclusions but it is critical that we investigate thoroughly and with care, and work closely with rail safety authorities to make sure this can’t happen again.’ 

His comments come as:

  • Unions called the accident a ‘tragedy’ and RMT officials confirmed it was now a ‘rescue operation’;
  • Yesterday marks the first time a train driver has been killed in a crash on UK railways since November 2004;
  • Nearby hospital Aberdeen Royal Infirmary announced a major incident after reports of ‘serious injuries’;
  • Local MP Andrew Bowie said the flooding situation had been ‘really bad’ in the area before the crash;
  • The NHS set up a ‘welcome centre’ at Midstocket Church in Aberdeen for those impacted by what happened;
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was still waiting for a clearer picture of the ‘very tragic’ incident.
A train carriage sits on the ground after the ScotRail service derailed near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday morning

A train carriage sits on the ground after the ScotRail service derailed near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday morning

A train carriage sits on the ground after the ScotRail service derailed near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday morning

Fire rescue crews respond after the ScotRail train came off the tracks near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Fire rescue crews respond after the ScotRail train came off the tracks near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Fire rescue crews respond after the ScotRail train came off the tracks near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

It has been claimed the Class 43 Inter7City train had three crew members and six passengers on board when it crashed

It has been claimed the Class 43 Inter7City train had three crew members and six passengers on board when it crashed

It has been claimed the Class 43 Inter7City train had three crew members and six passengers on board when it crashed

Smoke is seen billowing from the scene of a train crash near Stonehaven in Scotland after the derailment yesterday morning

Smoke is seen billowing from the scene of a train crash near Stonehaven in Scotland after the derailment yesterday morning

Smoke is seen billowing from the scene of a train crash near Stonehaven in Scotland after the derailment yesterday morning

The train was the 6.38am departure from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, which called at Stonehaven at 6.53am

The train was the 6.38am departure from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, which called at Stonehaven at 6.53am

The train was the 6.38am departure from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, which called at Stonehaven at 6.53am

Mick Lynch, RMT assistant general secretary, 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.

‘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.’

Speaking outside Stonehaven Police Station, Chief Inspector Brian McAleese said the Crown Office will direct the investigation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the fatal train derailment in Aberdeenshire must ‘never happen again’ as he joined Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in paying tribute to the victims.

The PM also called for a probe into the impact of ‘substantial rainfall on vulnerable infrastructure’ amid fears the crash, which killed three people, was caused by a landslip due to torrential rain.

Mr Johnson said yesterday: ‘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 accident is the first time in more than 13 years that a passenger or member of staff has been killed in a crash – after a woman died and 89 other people were injured in a Virgin Trains derailment in Cumbria in February 2007. 

It comes as homes were flooded, streets turned into rivers and properties were set on fire by lightning strikes as Britain’s heatwave was interrupted by thunderstorms and a month’s worth of rain in just three hours.

Scotland was hit by 17,000 lightning strikes in just 12 hours, as a landslide shut a road in Fife and there was a major outage at an exchange in Edinburgh affecting 100,000 customers’ broadband on BT, EE and Plusnet.

Communities further south also face flash flooding today after further intense thunderstorms were expected to inundate parts of Southern England with up to three inches of rain yesterday – about a month’s average. 

Emergency services, including firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the scene of the incident in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Emergency services, including firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the scene of the incident in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Emergency services, including firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the scene of the incident in Aberdeenshire yesterday

The RMT union confirmed it is a 'rescue operation' and nearby hospital Aberdeen Royal Infirmary reported a major incident

The RMT union confirmed it is a 'rescue operation' and nearby hospital Aberdeen Royal Infirmary reported a major incident

The RMT union confirmed it is a ‘rescue operation’ and nearby hospital Aberdeen Royal Infirmary reported a major incident

Police officers at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Police officers at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Police officers at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Network Rail tweeted a video filmed in the same area minutes after the incident at 9.49am, showing flooding on the line and saying that trains could not run

Network Rail tweeted a video filmed in the same area minutes after the incident at 9.49am, showing flooding on the line and saying that trains could not run

Network Rail's video of flooding in the

Network Rail's video of flooding in the

Network Rail tweeted a video filmed in the Carmont area minutes after the derailment incident at 9.49am, showing flooding on the line and saying that trains could not run

Video posted to Twitter at 9.49am by Network Rail Scotland showed a landslip on the track at Carmont, believed to be close to the scene of the crash which took place at 9.40am

Video posted to Twitter at 9.49am by Network Rail Scotland showed a landslip on the track at Carmont, believed to be close to the scene of the crash which took place at 9.40am

Video posted to Twitter at 9.49am by Network Rail Scotland showed a landslip on the track at Carmont, believed to be close to the scene of the crash which took place at 9.40am

Stonehaven is served by ScotRail trains heading north to Aberdeen and south to Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is also a calling point between Montrose and Inverurie.

Richard Clinnick, the news editor of Rail magazine, tweeted: ‘The front power car and all four of ScotRail set HA22 went down the embankment near Stonehaven. The ScotRail IC7 set was returning north on the Down Main having encountered a landslip further south when the accident happened. 

First driver to be killed in a crash on Britain’s railways since 2004

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

A passenger train is seen on November 7, 2004 after ploughing into a car at a level crossing and flying off the rails on a stretch of track by Ufton Nervet in Berkshire, 40 miles west of London

A passenger train is seen on November 7, 2004 after ploughing into a car at a level crossing and flying off the rails on a stretch of track by Ufton Nervet in Berkshire, 40 miles west of London

A passenger train is seen on November 7, 2004 after ploughing into a car at a level crossing and flying off the rails on a stretch of track by Ufton Nervet in Berkshire, 40 miles west of London

Seven people died when a London to Plymouth First Great Western train collided with a car that had been deliberately driven onto a level crossing.

Brian Drysdale, 48, who was driving the car which was hit

Brian Drysdale, 48, who was driving the car which was hit

Brian Drysdale, 48, who was driving the car which was hit

Those killed included the driver of the car – chef Brian Drysdale, 48, of Reading, Berkshire – and the driver of the train, Stanley Martin, 54, from Torquay, Devon.

A train driver died in an accident at a depot in Tyseley, West Midlands, in December last year, but he was not driving a train at the time.

The man was hit by another train shortly after leaving his cab.

The train driver, Stanley Martin, 54, also died. He is pictured with his wife Deborah and children James and Louise in 1993

The train driver, Stanley Martin, 54, also died. He is pictured with his wife Deborah and children James and Louise in 1993

The train driver, Stanley Martin, 54, also died. He is pictured with his wife Deborah and children James and Louise in 1993

‘Incident log suggests three crew members and six passengers on board. At least one Mk 3 was on fire.’

Philip Sherratt, editor of magazine Modern Railways, said: ‘It looks like the key cause of this accident is likely to have been some kind of landslip or earthworks failure, which is probably going to be attributable to the severe weather, and that’s obviously something that the railways are going to have to deal with.

‘During the storms back in February and March, particularly in the South East of England, there were several quite severe landslips and you had routes closed for a matter of weeks requiring repair.

‘If you look back ten years that’s not something that we really saw very much so I think there has definitely been a noticeable change in the frequency of these kinds of incidents and some are easier to deal with than others.

‘When you look back at something like the Dawlish incident in 2014 when the sea wall caved in and they rebuilt the whole thing and got the railway back up and open again, Network Rail’s response to that sort of thing is usually very good. But yes we are seeing a lot more of it.’

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said the local hospital had declared a major incident, adding: ‘It’s obviously a terrible situation, a train derailment, the emergency services are on the scene.

‘I’ve already spoken to Grant Shapps, who has spoken to Network Rail and the British Transport Police who are obviously investigating and assisting. I am aware that Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has declared a major incident.’

Mr Bowie said he had been in Stonehaven surveying the flood damage. He said: ‘The situation was really bad this morning (Wednesday), the River Carron, the main river which flows through it, had burst its banks and the heavy rain had caused flooding in the centre of Stonehaven and lots of the side streets leading off it.

‘Luckily, the water receded incredibly quickly and the river has peaked and is going down. Obviously none of us expected there to be such a serious incident as a rail derailment at the same time, but it just goes to show how damaging the bad weather can be.’

He added: ‘I don’t think speculation is helpful at this stage. We obviously don’t know why the derailment took place, but obviously we have suffered terrible weather here.’

Speaking before First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said a major incident has been declared.

She said that, although ‘details are still emerging’, there are ‘early reports of serious injuries’, adding: ‘My immediate thoughts and the thoughts of those across the chamber are with all those involved.’

The Scottish Government’s resilience room was made operational, and the First Minister was due to convene a meeting yesterday afternoon. 

Scottish Conservative leader in Holyrood Ruth Davidson also expressed her party’s sympathies with those involved in the derailment. She said: ‘May I add the thoughts of my party to those already been expressed regarding the incident in Stonehaven.

‘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 added: ‘My thoughts are with everyone involved in the serious incident in Aberdeenshire. Thank you to all the emergency services.’ 

Rescue workers at the scene of the incident in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon as emergency services respond

Rescue workers at the scene of the incident in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon as emergency services respond

Rescue workers at the scene of the incident in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon as emergency services respond

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said the local hospital had declared a major incident, adding: 'It's obviously a terrible situation, a train derailment, the emergency services are on the scene'

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said the local hospital had declared a major incident, adding: 'It's obviously a terrible situation, a train derailment, the emergency services are on the scene'

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said the local hospital had declared a major incident, adding: ‘It’s obviously a terrible situation, a train derailment, the emergency services are on the scene’

Emergency services attend the scene of a train derailment in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of a train derailment in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of a train derailment in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday afternoon

A police officer walks along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Scotland

A police officer walks along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Scotland

A police officer walks along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Scotland

Emergency services on the scene in Aberdeenshire yesterdayafternoon following the train derailment near Stonehaven

Emergency services on the scene in Aberdeenshire yesterdayafternoon following the train derailment near Stonehaven

Emergency services on the scene in Aberdeenshire yesterdayafternoon following the train derailment near Stonehaven

The air ambulance is involved in the emergency services' response in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance is involved in the emergency services' response in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance is involved in the emergency services’ response in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Smoke is pictured billowing from the area after the train came off the tracks close to the old Carmont railway station

Smoke is pictured billowing from the area after the train came off the tracks close to the old Carmont railway station

Smoke is pictured billowing from the area after the train came off the tracks close to the old Carmont railway station

Police officers near to the scene in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where the train derailed at about 9.40am yesterday morning

Police officers near to the scene in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where the train derailed at about 9.40am yesterday morning

Police officers near to the scene in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where the train derailed at about 9.40am yesterday morning

Emergency vehicles and personnel at Carmont crossing, where they are accessing the train line from the road yesterday

Emergency vehicles and personnel at Carmont crossing, where they are accessing the train line from the road yesterday

Emergency vehicles and personnel at Carmont crossing, where they are accessing the train line from the road yesterday

A police officer at a cordon at Carmont crossing, south of the scene near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday

A police officer at a cordon at Carmont crossing, south of the scene near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday

A police officer at a cordon at Carmont crossing, south of the scene near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday

A rescue helicopter of the Coastguard is seen near the scene of a derailed passenger train in Carmont yesterday

A rescue helicopter of the Coastguard is seen near the scene of a derailed passenger train in Carmont yesterday

A rescue helicopter of the Coastguard is seen near the scene of a derailed passenger train in Carmont yesterday

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.

Network Rail was warned about the impact of landslips just a month ago

Network Rail was warned about the network’s resilience to severe weather just four weeks before the Aberdeenshire derailment.

An annual health and safety report by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months. It also noted a spike in landslips, demonstrating the ‘vulnerability’ of the network.

The ORR found Network Rail’s plans to address climate change and extreme weather are ‘not keeping up with the frequency and severity of these events’.

Speaking when the report was published last month, HM chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: ‘The last year saw significant increases in flooding, earthwork failures and trains striking trees on the line, which had a big impact on the number of delays on the network.

‘It is so important that the sector employs best practice if we are to meet all the pressures on the network in the future and to make sure the railway plays its full role on climate change and reducing carbon emissions.’

In its response, Network Rail said the railway was designed for a temperate climate and is ‘challenged’ by prolonged periods of high and low temperatures, storms and floods.

It added: ‘Our climate is changing and we’re seeing more and more of these types of incidents. We are acutely aware they must be addressed and we have drawn up comprehensive plans to do so. There is no quick fix but we will continue to review the way the railway operates in extreme weather and build resilience into all of our plans.’

Philip Sherratt, editor of magazine Modern Railways, said an increasing number of landslips are ‘something that the railways are going to have to deal with’.

He said: ‘During the storms back in February and March, particularly in the south-east of England, there were several quite severe landslips and you had routes closed for a matter of weeks requiring repair.

‘If you look back 10 years that’s not something that we really saw very much so I think there has definitely been a noticeable change in the frequency of these kind of incidents and some are easier to deal with than others.’

 

‘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.’ 

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association general secretary Manuel Cortes added: ‘Our thoughts are with those caught up in this derailment, their loved ones and the emergency services and our members who are now involved in a rescue operation.

‘Our union has had concerns about the amount of hours that some of our members who maintain have been doing. However, it’s far too early to speculate whether this may have been a contributing factor to this morning’s (Wednesday) incident.’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was still waiting for a clearer picture of the ‘very, very tragic’ incident at Stonehaven.

He told the BBC: ‘My thoughts go out to the families, the friends, all those who have been involved in what’s happened today.

‘We are still waiting for a clearer picture in terms of the numbers of those involved, indeed the numbers who may have lost their lives as well.’

He also told the BBC: ‘There has been some very extreme weather and concerns about landslips.

‘One of the things I have done today is convene emergency meetings in order to ensure that we look into that specifically along the line in other locations, just to make certain, while leaving the Rail Accident Investigation Board to do their job in the site itself.’

Mr Shapps added: ‘We know that derailments, thankfully – and certainly lives lost – are very rare. You have to go back to 2007 to see the last life lost in this way.’

Asked about reports the driver is among the dead, Mr Shapps said: ‘I don’t want to pre-empt information which will come out from the police and other sources. It’s clearly a very serious incident.’

Mr Shapps said he would be visiting the scene of the incident today. ‘I will be going there tomorrow (Thursday) to understand the situation first hand and offer every possible assistance,’ he told the BBC.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We currently have multiple resources in attendance at a train derailment near Stonehaven, including six ambulances, our special operations response teams, air ambulance, patient transport vehicles and the Scotstar emergency service. More information will follow when we have it.’ 

Rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) sent an inspector, with a spokesman saying: ‘We’re aware of an incident involving a train derailment near Stonehaven. Emergency services are in attendance and an ORR inspector will be attending.

‘We will work with Rail Accident Investigation Branch, British Transport Police and the emergency services to investigate the full circumstances of what has happened.’ 

Emergency personnel are removing wooden supports, so that emergency vehicles can access the train line from the road

Emergency personnel are removing wooden supports, so that emergency vehicles can access the train line from the road

Emergency personnel are removing wooden supports, so that emergency vehicles can access the train line from the road

A helicopter of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance is seen near the scene of the derailed passenger train yesterday afternoon

A helicopter of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance is seen near the scene of the derailed passenger train yesterday afternoon

A helicopter of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance is seen near the scene of the derailed passenger train yesterday afternoon

Emergency personnel at Carmont crossing, where they are removing wooden supports yesterday afternoon

Emergency personnel at Carmont crossing, where they are removing wooden supports yesterday afternoon

Emergency personnel at Carmont crossing, where they are removing wooden supports yesterday afternoon

A Coastguard vehicle at Carmont crossing, where they are accessing the train line from the road yesterday afternoon

A Coastguard vehicle at Carmont crossing, where they are accessing the train line from the road yesterday afternoon

A Coastguard vehicle at Carmont crossing, where they are accessing the train line from the road yesterday afternoon

Emergency vehicles on the scene during the major incident involving fire and ambulance crews yesterday afternoon

Emergency vehicles on the scene during the major incident involving fire and ambulance crews yesterday afternoon

Emergency vehicles on the scene during the major incident involving fire and ambulance crews yesterday afternoon

A police vehicle crosses the tracks near the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven yesterday afternoon

A police vehicle crosses the tracks near the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven yesterday afternoon

A police vehicle crosses the tracks near the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven yesterday afternoon

Emergency service vehicles travel along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train in Scotland yesterday

Emergency service vehicles travel along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train in Scotland yesterday

Emergency service vehicles travel along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train in Scotland yesterday

Emergency services attend the scene of a train derailment in Stonehaven yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of a train derailment in Stonehaven yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of a train derailment in Stonehaven yesterday afternoon

Emergency service vehicles travel along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train in Stonehaven

Emergency service vehicles travel along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train in Stonehaven

Emergency service vehicles travel along the tracks near the scene of the derailed passenger train in Stonehaven

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Scotland yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Scotland yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Scotland yesterday afternoon

A still image taken from video footage shows smoke billowing from the scene of the train crash near Stonehaven

A still image taken from video footage shows smoke billowing from the scene of the train crash near Stonehaven

A still image taken from video footage shows smoke billowing from the scene of the train crash near Stonehaven

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Emergency services attend the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance lands at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance lands at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance lands at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Police officers at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Police officers at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Police officers at the scene of the major train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

A British Transport Police spokesman said: ‘BTP were called to the line in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire at 09.43am this morning (Wednesday) following a report that a train travelling from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street had derailed.

‘Officers remain on scene this afternoon alongside the ambulance service, fire brigade and colleagues from Police Scotland.

‘Very sadly despite the best efforts of paramedics, we can confirm that three people have been pronounced dead at the scene.

‘While formal identification is yet to take place, the driver of the train is very sadly believed to have died. His family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.

‘Officers are continuing to work to inform the families of the other two people who sadly died. Six people have been taken to hospital to be treated for injuries, which thankfully are not believed to be serious.’ 

The air ambulance lands at the scene of the train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance lands at the scene of the train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

The air ambulance lands at the scene of the train accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Emergency response teams are parked near the scene of a train crash by Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Emergency response teams are parked near the scene of a train crash by Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Emergency response teams are parked near the scene of a train crash by Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

A police officer walks in the area of the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Scotland yesterday afternoon

A police officer walks in the area of the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Scotland yesterday afternoon

A police officer walks in the area of the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Scotland yesterday afternoon

A Coastguard rescue helicopter at the scene in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, following the derailment yesterday afternoon

A Coastguard rescue helicopter at the scene in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, following the derailment yesterday afternoon

A Coastguard rescue helicopter at the scene in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, following the derailment yesterday afternoon

Emergency responders gather at the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire

Emergency responders gather at the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire

Emergency responders gather at the scene of a derailed passenger train near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire

Firefighters and engines at the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Firefighters and engines at the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon

Firefighters and engines at the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday afternoon 

Emergency vehicles respond to the incident in Aberdeenshire which happened shortly before 10am yesterday morning

Emergency vehicles respond to the incident in Aberdeenshire which happened shortly before 10am yesterday morning

Emergency vehicles respond to the incident in Aberdeenshire which happened shortly before 10am yesterday morning

Speaking before First Minister's Questions, Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said a major incident has been declared

Speaking before First Minister's Questions, Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said a major incident has been declared

Speaking before First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said a major incident has been declared

The incident happened on the Dundee-Aberdeen line at about 10am yesterday morning

The incident happened on the Dundee-Aberdeen line at about 10am yesterday morning

The incident happened on the Dundee-Aberdeen line at about 10am yesterday morning

At least seven ambulances were on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines

At least seven ambulances were on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines

At least seven ambulances were on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines

BTP Chief Superintendent Eddie Wylie added: ‘This is a tragic incident and first and foremost our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have very sadly died this morning (Wednesday).

‘We remain on scene alongside our emergency service colleagues, and a major incident operation has been underway. 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.

‘I know many people will understandably have questions, and we will be working closely alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the Office of Rail and Road to establish the full circumstances of how the train came to derail.’ 

HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser said: ‘We are saddened by today’s incident and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected.

‘ORR Inspectors are on site at Stonehaven, assisting in the preliminary investigation. We will work with other agencies, including the emergency services, to find out exactly what happened and identify the causes of this tragic incident.’

A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘A report was received of a train having derailed near Stonehaven at 9.40am on Wednesday, August 12. Emergency services are currently in attendance and the incident is ongoing.’

A ScotRail spokesman said: ‘We’re assisting the emergency services with an incident near Stonehaven, and will provide more information when available.’

Flooding is pictured on a road in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday, near to where the ScotRail train derailed

Flooding is pictured on a road in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday, near to where the ScotRail train derailed

Flooding is pictured on a road in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday, near to where the ScotRail train derailed

Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire was hit by major flooding yesterday following severe thunderstorms on Tuesday night

Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire was hit by major flooding yesterday following severe thunderstorms on Tuesday night

Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire was hit by major flooding yesterday following severe thunderstorms on Tuesday night

Flooding at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday following severe thunderstorms, near where the train derailed

Flooding at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday following severe thunderstorms, near where the train derailed

Flooding at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday following severe thunderstorms, near where the train derailed

A flooded street in Stonehaven is pictured yesterday on the same day of the train derailment nearby

A flooded street in Stonehaven is pictured yesterday on the same day of the train derailment nearby

A flooded street in Stonehaven is pictured yesterday on the same day of the train derailment nearby

A Network Rail spokesman said: ‘We are working alongside the emergency services to respond to an incident involving a train near Stonehaven.

This message was on a board at a London Underground station in support of those affected by the incident

This message was on a board at a London Underground station in support of those affected by the incident

This message was on a board at a London Underground station in support of those affected by the incident

‘It is too early to confirm the exact nature and severity of the incident and more details will be made available once known.’

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘We were alerted at 9.47am on Wednesday August 12 to reports of an incident involving a train near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

‘Operations Control has mobilised 12 appliances and a number of specialist resources to the scene as part of a multi-agency response. Crews remain in attendance.’

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, said: ‘We are saddened to learn about the incident in Aberdeenshire today and our thoughts are with those affected.

‘While an investigation will follow, our current focus is to provide every support we can in the immediate response.’

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘HM Coastguard was called at around 10.33am today to assist Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service with an incident near Stonehaven.

‘We are currently assisting as part of a multi-agency response and have sent coastguard rescue teams from Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Cruden Bay, Banff and Montrose along with a coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick.

‘Two coastal operations area commanders and four senior coastal operations officers are also at the scene. This is an ongoing incident.’

Earlier, ScotRail posted a message on Twitter shortly after 6.30am warning that services across Scotland would be disrupted due to ‘extremely heavy rain flooding’. A video shared on Facebook at 7.30am showed heavy flooding in Stonehaven.

How fatal crashes became an almost annual occurrence on Britain’s railways in the 1980s and 1990s

Britain’s railways are often heralded as being among the safest in Europe.

The Aberdeenshire accident is the first time in more than 13 years that a passenger or member of staff has been killed in a crash.

One woman died and 89 other people were injured when a Virgin Trains service derailed at 95mph on the West Coast Main Line in Grayrigg, Cumbria, in February 2007.

The 300-tonne Pendolino train from London to Glasgow came off the tracks due to a badly maintained and faulty set of points.

February 2007: One woman died and 89 other people were injured when a Virgin Trains service derailed at 95mph on the West Coast Main Line in Grayrigg, Cumbria

February 2007: One woman died and 89 other people were injured when a Virgin Trains service derailed at 95mph on the West Coast Main Line in Grayrigg, Cumbria

February 2007: One woman died and 89 other people were injured when a Virgin Trains service derailed at 95mph on the West Coast Main Line in Grayrigg, Cumbria

Network Rail, the firm responsible for the upkeep of the railways, accepted it was at fault and was fined £4 million over safety failures.

The last time a train driver was killed in a crash was at Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, in November 2004.

A total of seven people died when the First Great Western train hit a car deliberately parked on the tracks in a suicide attempt by the vehicle’s driver.

Fatal crashes on Britain’s rail network occurred almost every year during the 1980s and 1990s.

Thirty-five people were killed and 415 others were injured when three trains collided near Clapham Junction station in south London in December 1988.

December 1988: 35 people were killed and 415 others were injured when three trains collided near Clapham Junction station in London

December 1988: 35 people were killed and 415 others were injured when three trains collided near Clapham Junction station in London

December 1988: 35 people were killed and 415 others were injured when three trains collided near Clapham Junction station in London

An inquiry found the primary cause of the crash was incorrect wiring work which led to a signal failure.

Five people were killed and a further 88 were injured when two trains collided in Purley, south London, in March 1989.

One of the trains careered down an embankment into gardens below, trapping people on board for several hours.

The trains should have been two-and-a-half minutes apart but one of them went through a red light.

Five people died when two trains were involved in a head-on crash near Cowden, Kent, in October 1994 after one of them failed to stop at a red signal.

A crash between a passenger train and a freight train in Southall, west London, in September 1997 left seven people dead and 139 injured.

March 1989: Five people were killed and a further 88 were injured when two trains collided in Purley, south London

March 1989: Five people were killed and a further 88 were injured when two trains collided in Purley, south London

March 1989: Five people were killed and a further 88 were injured when two trains collided in Purley, south London

An investigation found it was primarily caused by driver error and faulty safety equipment.

In October 1999, two trains collided at high speed close to Paddington station, also in west London, killing 31 people, with a further 227 taken to hospital.

A series of inquiries found the crash was caused by a Thames Trains service going through a red signal.

Four people were killed and more than 70 were injured when a Leeds-bound express train derailed south of Hatfield station in Hertfordshire in October 2000.

Engineering company Balfour Beatty was condemned in a Health and Safety Executive report for failing to effectively manage the inspection and maintenance of the track.

The company was fined a record £10 million and Network Rail was fined £3.5 million for breaching safety rules in relation to the crash.

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