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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Railtrack 'pay-out' for crash victims
Destroyed train carriage at the Potters Bar train station
It has been difficult to decide who was to blame
Railtrack, the collapsed UK railway company, is set to pay 12m in compensation to the victims of the Potters Bar rail crash.


We will start paying out straight away so it means that legal niceties don't get in the way of people's claims

Railtrack spokesman
The pay-out, which is expected to be formally announced on Monday, would not mean Railtrack has admitted blame for the disaster.

"We say that the victims have had enough to deal with and it is time to help them. It's the responsible thing to do," a spokeswoman said.

Families of the seven people who died are expected to receive 1m each, while the remaining 5m would be shared by the 67 people injured in the crash, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

Any victim who feels the offers are too low would be free to ask a court to decide on an appropriate compensation pay-out, a Railtrack spokesman told the paper.

Normally, Railtrack would not pay anyone anything following a crash until the insurance companies representing those responsible have agreed on who should be blamed.

But it has decided to make an exception because it has been difficult to establish who was to blame.

Taking a lead

If another company was found to have been responsible for the crash, Railtrack would be reimbursed.

Points maintenance firm Jarvis and train operator WAGN have agreed that Railtrack should take the lead in meeting compensation demands.

"While the inquiries are going forward and the liability cannot be established, Railtrack will take the lead and start handling the settlements," the spokesman told the Sunday Telegraph.

"We will start paying out straight away so it means that legal niceties don't get in the way of people's claims."

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The BBC's Simon Montague
"It still isn't clear who was responsible for the accident"

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24 Jul 02 | UK
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