Three people, including the driver and a conductor, have died today after a ScotRail Inter7City train derailed near Stonehaven.
More than 30 emergency service vehicles, including police, paramedics, fire service and two air ambulances were on the scene at Carmont following the crash at 9.43am.
British Transport Police said “despite the best efforts of paramedics”, three people were pronounced dead at the scene.
While formal identification is yet to take place, the driver of the train and a RMT conductor are believed to have been among those who died.
The driver’s family has been informed and is being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.
Officers are continuing to work to inform the families of the other two people who sadly lost their lives.
Six people have been taken to hospital to be treated for injuries, which are not thought to be serious.
What we know so far
- The train was the 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service, made up of locomotives and four carriages.
- It is understood it was returning north on the Down Main after encountering a landslip further south when the accident happened.
- Following the crash, a major incident was declared at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with staff “pre-alerted” for incoming patients.
- A dozen fire engines, ambulances and air ambulances all responded to the incident.
- Three people were pronounced dead at the scene with a further six taken to hospital.
- NHS Grampian has set up a Welcome Centre for families and friends affected by the incident at Midstocket Church.
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”.
BTP Chief Superintendent Eddie Wylie
BTP Chief Superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “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.
“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 inquiries 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.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “We are working closely and quickly with the emergency services on the incident near Stonehaven.
“Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this tragic event, particularly the families of those who have lost their lives. The railway in Scotland is often referred to as a family, and it’s one that is hurting today.
“We have teams on site and we will do all we can to support everyone affected. We are working closely with all the relevant authorities to establish the cause of this incident.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described it as an “extremely serious incident” and said there were early reports of “serious injuries” when she addressed Scottish Parliament.
She added in a statement: “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.”
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch announced it has launched an investigation into the incident.
HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser CBE, said they were “saddened” by the news and ORR Inspectors will be on site at Stonehaven, assisting in the preliminary investigation.
He added: “We will work with other agencies, including the emergency services, to find out exactly what happened and identify the causes of this tragic incident.”
Outpouring of support
In response to the tragedy, NHS Grampian transformed Midstocket Church into a safe space for friends and families to meet.
Chaplains are also available to offer to support those affected.
In Stonehaven, Fetteresso Church also became an unofficial meeting point for people seeking answers.
Local councillors have also offered help to those affected by the crash, and have reached out to the wider community in the wake of last night’s extreme flooding.
Churches, such as West Mearns Parish Church, have organised prayers this evening.
Meanwhile Dennis Robertson, a Stonehaven councillor, said it was a “terrible day for our community.”
He added: “However, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by today’s dreadful accident.”
Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organiser for the Aslef train drivers union, said: “Our thoughts tonight are with all those who died, and who were injured, in the tragic accident at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.
“While it is too early to speculate about the causes of the crash, it would seem that the appalling weather conditions in the area – the torrential rain – resulted in a landslip which, in turn, caused the train to derail.
“The train, which was a service from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, rolled down a steep embankment, and caught fire.
“Despite the best efforts of the driver, and crew, and the subsequent efforts of the emergency services who attended, we understand that three people died and several more have been taken to hospital.
“Our thoughts tonight are with these men and women and their families.
“There will be an investigation into the causes of the crash, and we will learn those lessons, as we have in the past, because the railway is one of the safest modes of transport.
“The UK has some of the safest railways in the world, and Scotland is the safest part of the UK, but that does not, of course, diminish the impact of today’s crash on all those involved.”
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “On behalf of the City of Aberdeen I extend my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families of those lost in this terrible accident.
“Our thoughts are also very much with those injured. The north-east of Scotland is a tight-knit community and the impact of today’s derailment will be felt across the region.
“Hopefully we can draw strength from each other in the difficult days ahead, especially those most affected.”
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. ”