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Charles visits rail crash survivors
Prince Charles meeting a patient at Barnet General
Prince Charles spoke to some of the injured
Prince Charles has met some of the Potters Bar rail crash survivors at two north London hospitals.

His first visit on Saturday was to Barnet General Hospital, followed by Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield.

The Prince said the crash was a "terrible thing" and he extended his sympathies to the relatives of those who died in the tragedy.


My heart stood still, then it went out to all the families and loved ones who have lost their relatives

Prince Charles
He told the waiting media of his initial shock when he first heard about the crash, and praised medical staff dealing with the victims.

"I suspect like many other people my heart stood still, then it went out to all the families and loved ones who have lost their relatives in this terrible accident," he said.

"I can never get over how wonderful all the people are in these hospitals, and the work they do, and the work of the emergency services.

"In A&E they do the most marvellous job. Everybody comes together and does a marvellous job in a crisis."

Casualties

Twelve people are being treated at four hospitals across north London.

Two people remain in a critical condition. One is at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, while the other is being treated at Chase Farm.

Daniel Cooney
Injured: Cambridge University student Daniel Cooney chatted to the Prince
Of the other 10 in a non-critical state, five are at Barnet, three at Chase Farm and two at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

Five people died at the crash scene and two more died later in hospital.

Prince Charles was said to be "very saddened" when told of the tragedy after returning to Britain from holiday on Friday.

The hospital visits took place after he attended at a long-standing private service of thanksgiving for the Queen Mother.

Following Friday's rail crash, about 30 people received hospital treatment and 76 "walking wounded" received care at a makeshift field hospital in a Sainsbury's supermarket car park near to the crash site.

Seven casualties, including a man who later died, were taken to Barnet General, which is just five miles from the scene of the incident.

Patients' injuries included wounds to head and chest, crush injuries, severe cuts from flying glass and serious broken bones. Four of them underwent surgery.

Blood donors

Two of them, an 18-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman, were transferred from Barnet to the Royal Free, with neurological injuries.

The elderly patient later died.

A third patient was transferred to the Royal Free from Chase Farm.

Ten other casualties with abdominal and head injuries were taken to Chase Farm, which is 5 miles from Potters Bar and part of the same trust as Barnet General.

Another 13 casualties were taken to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

Paul O'Connor, Barnet General's chief executive said that doctors would monitor patients over the next few days, and in some cases over the next few weeks.


There has been a phenomenal response from this community

Paul O'Connor
Barnet General
He added that the hospital was doing everything it could for the relatives, and had set up a room where they could go.

He praised the commitment of the hospital staff - many came in to work despite being on annual leave or not on shift.

He said people had been volunteering to donate blood, and local GPs have also offered their assistance.

"There has been a phenomenal response from this community."

A team of counsellors was at the hospital to give comfort to relatives.

Watford General Hospital sent a trauma team to the scene.

Less serious injuries were assessed on site by a local GP.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Clarence Mitchell
"It was a moral boosting visit"

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10 May 02 | England
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