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Wednesday, 28 February, 2001, 13:35 GMT
Train collision kills 10
Train wreckage following crash
The accident happened after vehicles fell onto the track
Ten people have died in a collision between a high-speed passenger train and a freight train near Selby, North Yorkshire.

There are 40 walking wounded and 30 casualties had to be cut free from the wreckage, police said.

Firefighters are still searching the mangled train carriages but do not expect to find any survivors.

The Queen has asked for her "deepest sympathy" to be passed to the families and friends of all those who have died and to those who have been injured.

Click here to see map.

"This is a particularly shocking tragedy coming on top of so much anxiety and loss from the foot-and-mouth outbreak and, before that, the recent floods," she said.

The accident happened at about 0620GMT at Great Heck between Goole and Selby, on the East Coast Main Line.

A Land Rover pulling a car on a low-loader fell off a bridge on the M62 motorway.

The two vehicles and the low-loader then fell onto the track.

Accident chronology
Two vehicles and a low-loader fall off road bridge onto line
GNER train hits two vehicles and low-loader
Train derailed
Freight train, travelling in the opposite direction, collides with passenger train
The GNER passenger train, travelling from Newcastle to London, was travelling at 125 mph. The freight train was doing 60mph.

Police said the driver of the Land Rover had called the emergency services moments before the trains crashed to tell them that the two vehicles and the low-loader had landed on the tracks.

"At 6.12am this morning we had a call from a man who said he had been in a road accident," said a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police.

"While the operator was speaking to him we heard him shout: 'The train's coming', and then there was a bang."

Of the two people in the driver's cab of the passenger train - one has died and one has been taken to hospital.

Rescue workers had to cut casualties free
Rescue workers had to cut casualties free from wreckage
Casualties have been taken to hospitals in the area.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has described the crash as a "quite horrendous accident" which has shocked the whole country.

The first firefighter on the scene of the train crash Graham Buckle said: "When I arrived it was still semi-darkness.

"There were people wandering around and people screaming for help."

Janine Edwards, 22, of York, who was travelling to London, said: "I heard screaming and shouting and the lights went out. I held onto the table in front on me and then there was a huge impact.

"The man opposite me was streaming with blood. The window next to him was smashed and the frame had come out and hit him.

Passenger Raymond Brindley, a former railway worker, smashed glass and escaped through the emergency door of the rear carriage before racing to the nearest telephone and alerting the signalman to the accident.

All our thoughts are with the dead and injured and their families and friends at this very difficult time

Tony Blair
"The track seemed to give way under us, the lights went out and we seemed to be going everywhere in all directions.

"We came to a stop, the coach filled with diesel fumes, I broke the glass and opened the emergency door.

"It was utter chaos."

Mr Blair thanked local people who helped in what he described as "such awful circumstances".

The prime minister also praised the emergency services, saying they had responded with great professionalism "as always".

Speaking from the crash site, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said: "This is clearly a terrible tragedy and our thoughts at the moment must be with those who have been wounded and injured in this situation and also the families of those who died."

He said he had asked the Health and Safety Executive to produce an interim report on the disaster.

Mr Prescott will be making a statement on the crash to the House of Commons at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

GNER chief executive Christopher Garnett said questions would have to be asked as to how it was possible for a vehicle to leave a motorway and end up on a rail track.

"This is devastating, it is ghastly. We have people injured and people killed and our thoughts are with them and their families," he said.

"I have never seen anything like this before and I pray to God I never see anything like it again."

"Our job is to make the railway safe and after Hatfield we have tried to make the railway safe and now this. It has got to be investigated.

Services between York and Doncaster are subject to major disruption. There are lane closures on the M62.

The BBC's Tom Symonds said the accident was worse than the Hatfield or Southall crashes.

Four died at Hatfield, seven at Southall.

"They were just starting to get back to normal after the Hatfield train crash."

Emergency number 0207 8347777 has been set up.

Return to text

The BBC's Kim Barnes
"Fire crews were first on the scene"
The BBC's Catherine Marston
"The rescue operation has now ended"
The BBC's John Thorne at Pontefract Infirmary
"It is a real regional hospital effort in wake of this accident"
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott
"Clearly a terrible tragedy"

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