Three dead after passenger train derails
Three people are dead after a passenger train derailed in northeast Scotland on Wednesday in what First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described as "an extremely serious incident".
The crash occurred close to the town of Stonehaven around 25 kilometres south of Aberdeen, followed severe flooding across parts of the region overnight.
Smoke could be seen rising from the scene in pictures broadcast on television news channels.
British Transport Police confirmed three people were pronounced dead.
"Very sadly despite the best efforts of paramedics, we can confirm that three people have been pronounced dead at the scene," the force said in a statement
Ms Sturgeon said "my deepest condolences are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident."
"I have just been updated by Network Rail and the emergency services on the ongoing operation. My thanks go to them, and my thoughts remain with everyone affected."
Earlier, she described it as an "extremely serious incident" that occured where it was difficult for emergency services to access.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "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."
Thunderstorms and torrential rain battered parts of central and eastern Scotland overnight, creating hazardous travelling conditions.
This is an extremely serious incident. I’ve had an initial report from Network Rail and the emergency services and am being kept updated. All my thoughts are with those involved. https://t.co/veKAgMwZ36— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 12, 2020
SERIOUS FLOODING AND LANDSLIDES
TV presenter Chris Harvey was in the region and said there was a "huge amount of dark smoke billowing up from a train that we believe has derailed on the Dundee to Aberdeen line."
He said air ambulance and paramedics were arriving on scene. The Manchester Evening News reported that the train was the 06:38 Aberdeen to Stonehaven, made up of a locomotive and four carriages.
"It is understood that the locomotive and three carriages derailed, and slid down an embankment," it said.
Reports suggested the train came across a landslide that caused it to derail after the driver had requested to switch tracks after coming across flooding.
The BBC reports the train reversed, switched to clearer tracks but then hit a landslide and derailed in an incident that will now be subject to investigation.
It has also been reported one carriage went up in flames, however this has not been confirmed by emergency services.
Earlier, Network Rail Scotland tweeted "with lightning strikes and intensely heavy rain falling overnight across Scotland, we're seeing disruption to many routes."
It also shared a video of serious flooding affecting the line between Dundee and Aberdeen.
At Carmont, we’ve had reports of a landslip, which means services can’t operate between Dundee & Aberdeen. /2 pic.twitter.com/1E29tKHFhy— Network Rail Scotland (@NetworkRailSCOT) August 12, 2020
Huge billowing black smoke from train on fire after derelailing near Stonehaven. pic.twitter.com/Rk01bS5RLI— Chris Harvey (@ChristopherHarv) August 12, 2020
Major incident on Dundee to Aberdeen rail line near Stonehaven Train derailed and alight. pic.twitter.com/rcRSIuK0Cb— Chris Harvey (@ChristopherHarv) August 12, 2020
EMERGENCY VEHICLES ON SCENE
Some 30 emergency vehicles were attending the scene of the derailment which happened at 9:40am (08:40 GMT).
Network Rail Scotland, the company which looks after the rail infrastructure, said it was working alongside emergency services.
"It is too early to confirm the exact nature and severity of the incident and more details will be made available once known," it said.
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We currently have multiple resources in attendance at a train derailment near Stonhaven, including six ambulances, our special operations response teams, air ambulance, patient transport vehicles and the Scotstar emergency service."
These are pictures from Aberdeenshire in Scotland where a train has derailed near Stonehaven pic.twitter.com/M8z1N9qB9o— Chris Chambers (@CapitalChambo) August 12, 2020
Local MP Andrew Bowie said a "major emergency service response" was underway and he had spoken to the British transport minister, Grant Shapps, about the incident.
"Thoughts with every single person involved," tweeted Bowie.
Just off the phone with Sec State Transport, @grantshapps regarding the train derailment South of Stonehaven who has spoken and is liaising with @ScotRail & @NetworkRailSCOT. Emergency Services at the scene. Thoughts with every single person involved. Will update more when I can.— Andrew Bowie MP (@AndrewBowie_MP) August 12, 2020
Just met urgently with @networkrail for a briefing on Stonehaven derailment. British Transport Police & Network Rail are on location, along with rail workers who were nearby. The UK Government will provide every support. My thoughts are with those involved and their families.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 12, 2020
Thunderstorms and torrential rain had battered parts of central and eastern Scotland overnight.
Britain's last major rail derailment was in 2007 in Cumbria, in northwest England, when a train on the main west coast line left the tracks, killing one passenger and seriously injuring 30 others
Originally published as Three dead after passenger train derails