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Crash paramedics faced horrific decisions
paramedics treat a survivor of the paddington crash
Paramedics treat a survivor (London Ambulance Service)
Seriously injured passengers were left to die after the Paddington rail disaster as paramedics fought to save other victims, Health Secretary Frank Dobson has been told.

London Train Crash
Ambulance workers were speaking to Mr Dobson as he visited their London headquarters at Waterloo.

Senior training manager David Whitmore told how he was forced to stand on corpses to treat others trapped in the wreckage after the horrific accident on Tuesday.

He said leaving patients who were barely alive to die was the worst thing he and his colleagues had to do.

He said: "If some of those passengers had been the only ones to treat at an accident then we (might) have been able to do something for them.

"It's a horrible thing to say, but we could not afford to waste our resources on those people who were alive but had little chance of survival.

paddington train disaster
Ambulance workers have been offered counselling following the disaster
"If you decided to treat these badly injured people then those who had a better chance of living may also die, bringing the death toll up."

Mr Whitmore said paramedics traumatised by their experiences had been offered counselling.

The 40-year-old manager, who has 20 years experience and has been to six rail accidents, said the latest disaster was by far the worst.

He said he had been forced to stand on a dead body to help a young woman trapped in the wreckage with her face pressed up against the window of the train.

'Bravery and professionalism'

He said: "It was a harrowing sight. The woman was trapped there for hours.

"All I could do was to hold her hand and speak to her until eventually we managed to get her out. She was incredible."

Paramedics said they had burnt their blood-soaked jackets after the crash because they were so badly stained.

Mr Dobson said he wanted to "pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism displayed at the crash and at the fire".

He said: "I've also come to thank staff for the training they have done which helped them cope with a situation like this."

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