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Thursday, October 7, 1999 Published at 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK


15 crash victims fight for life

Many were seriously injured

Fifteen victims of the Paddington rail disaster are fighting for their lives in hospital and 21 more are suffering from serious injuries.

London Train Crash
Three patients at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington are in a critical condition in the intensive care unit suffering from serious burns and crush injuries. A further eight are being treated on general wards.

Two patients were transferred to specialist burns units at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex on Wednesday.

At the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital two survivors are being treated in the intensive care unit, a further eight are critically ill in the specialist burns unit and two are being cared for on general wards.

The BBC's Jon McIntyre:"Dozens remain in hospital"
Some patients suffered up to 70% burns.

In total, St Mary's, the hospital nearest to the crash site, dealt with 51 casualties. Three were discharged to their local hospitals on Wednesday, with four others allowed to go home.

'Quite horrific'

Mr Robin Touquet: "Patients were smelling of burned flesh"
Mr Robin Touquet, an accident and emergency consultant at St Mary's, said the patients in intensive care were being treated both for burns and for the damage caused to the lungs by breathing in hot smoke.

He said: "No major incidents are alike, this was very vivid because patients were coming in smelling of burned flesh - which is quite horrific for staff - with swollen faces.

"Some were coming in with white bandages over faces with just two round holes for eyes, and you could see the staring eyes of fright and just shock from the awfulness of this injury."

Mr Touquet said St Mary's had spare capacity throughout Tuesday, and had more than a dozen consultant surgeons present.

"Each patient got a specific team that was consultant-run."

150 casualties

More than 150 people were treated in total at six London hospitals.

Chelsea and Westminster dealt with 25 casualties.

The University London College Hospital dealt with 50 casualties after the crash, with six of the injured kept in overnight - all are said to be stable.

The Central Middlesex Hospital catered for six of the wounded and five of them were kept in overnight - most suffering from smoke inhalation.

Seven of the survivors were taken to Charing Cross Hospital and six were kept in - two of them, a man and a woman, were both critical and receiving emergency care in the intensive care unit.

Hammersmith Hospital kept in one of the 11 it treated for treatment.

A minor injuries unit set up at St Charles dealt with four of the walking wounded - all were sent home later in the day.

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