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The BBC's Giles Latcham
"Search teams will spend the day amidst the debris"
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The BBC's Lucy Atherton in Pontefract
"Medical staff say people are bearing up"
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Supt Tony Thompson British Transport Police
"It's going to be a process of remove wreckage, search, remove wreckage"
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Friday, 2 March, 2001, 06:14 GMT
Crash search enters third day
Selby crash wreckage
Thirteen bodies were removed from the wreckage
Emergency services at the site of the Selby rail disaster in North Yorkshire are beginning a third day searching the crash wreckage.

The bodies of the 13 known victims were recovered on Thursday, but police say it is possible that more could be found in carriages they have not yet been able to enter.

There are areas we have not yet been able to search

Chief Insp Martin Hemingway

Thirteen people died and 70 were injured on Wednesday when a Land Rover careered into the path of a passenger train which was then hit by a freight train at Great Heck near Selby, North Yorkshire.

Police investigating the crash are considering the possibility that the Land Rover driver, Gary Hart, may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Heavy lifting gear is expected to be moved in to remove the train carriages on Saturday, once teams have finished building a special access road later on Friday.

Rescue teams will also continue a fingertip search of the area for possessions which will help with identification.

'Mobile phones ringing'

Chief Inspector Martin Hemingway, the officer leading the recovery operation, said: "The high-speed collision caused tremendous damage and there are areas on two carriages and underneath some of the carriages we have not yet been able to search."

He revealed that, nearly 36 hours after the tragedy, rescue crews could hear the "unnerving" sound of mobile phones ringing in the mangled carriages.

On Friday morning, 33 of the 70 people injured in the crash remained in hospital, with two in a critical condition.

Click here to see a map of the accident.

Elaine Hart, the wife of the Land Rover driver, told a news conference on Wednesday that her husband was grief-stricken at what had happened.

'Unaccounted for'

Rail company GNER has named the driver of its train as John Weddle and it said chef Paul Taylor, who was from the Newcastle area, was also among the victims.

A third member of its crew, customer operations leader Raymond Robson, 43, from Whitley Bay, was "unaccounted for".
Gary Hart
Gary Hart: Wife says he is grief-stricken

Freightliner, the company running the goods train in the crash, said one of its two drivers, Stephen Dunn, 39, had died but its other driver Andrew Hill, also 39, was in a satisfactory condition in hospital.

Drama student Janine Edwards, 22, from York, who was treated for minor injuries, spoke of how she was in coach D of the GNER train.

"It was like a rollercoaster ride and I was holding on to the table for dear life and then it just stopped and all I could hear was people screaming," she said.

'Harrowing task'

Dean McQue, divisional officer for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services, said the rescuers had faced a difficult and harrowing task.

"We have gone to enormous lengths to preserve the dignity of the dead," he said.

Superintendent Tony Thompson, of British Transport Police, said it could be the weekend before it is known for certain how many people died in the collision.

Officials are looking at the positioning of motorway crash barriers, which failed to prevent the Land Rover from plunging down the embankment.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has asked the Health and Safety Executive for an interim report expected within days.

An emergency number 0207 8347777 has been set up for members of the public concerned about friends and relatives.

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