A train derailed in eastern Scotland yesterday, killing three people, in what Scottish Premier Nicola Sturgeon described as an extremely serious incident.
Dark smoke billowed from a woodland area at the bottom of a narrow valley near Stonehaven, just south of the city of Aberdeen, after the ScotRail train derailed in the morning following heavy rain overnight.
Two air ambulances and about 30 emergency service vehicles could be seen in a field just above the site of the derailment, which appeared to be difficult to access.
The stricken train could not be seen on television footage.
“My deepest condolences are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident,” said Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was saddened to learn of the “very serious incident” and his thoughts were with all those affected.
Police received reports of a train derailing near Stonehaven, 15km south of Aberdeen, at 0940am yesterday.
The BBC reported that the train was made up of two locomotives, one at the front and one at the back, and four passenger carriages.
It said the front locomotive and three of the carriages had left the track and were sitting on a river embankment.
Stonehaven and the surrounding area had been hit by floods in recent days and some reports suggested a landslide may have played a part in the derailment, although that was not confirmed by the authorities.
Britain has one of Europe’s lowest rates of fatal rail accidents, with a stronger safety record than Germany or France in recent years, according to Eurostat data that includes unauthorised people on railway tracks and at level crossings.
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