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Monday, 12 March, 2001, 13:39 GMT
Nine hurt in train collision
One of the trains involved
One of the trains may have passed a danger signal
Nine passengers were injured when two trains collided outside a London station during rush-hour.

The two Connex South East Networker trains clipped each other outside Hither Green station near Lewisham in south east London.


People in the front carriage said they could actually feel it lifting up after it hit the other train

Passenger Karen O'Mahoney
British Transport Police said the trains hit each other and suffered minor damage in the incident at 0835GMT on Monday.

"It was a very minor collision in which the two trains just clipped sides," he said.

The two trains were travelling to London's Cannon Street from stations in Sevenoaks and Crayford in Kent.

Passengers from the Crayford train were able to exit their train via the platform at Hither Green.

Customers on the Sevenoaks train were led to safety after the power to the line had been switched off and all trains in the area were halted.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an immediate inquiry into the accident which happened less than two weeks after 10 people died in the Selby rail crash.

It is thought the 0758GMT Sevenoaks train may have passed a signal at danger.

'Screeching halt'

Passenger Karen O'Mahoney, 27, from Mottingham, south east London, said the eight-carriage Crayford train came to a "screeching halt" just after it left Hither Green station.

"The train was just coming out of the platform when it stopped very sharply," said the advertising executive.

Passenger
Nine passengers were injured in the accident
"At first we thought it had come off the rails or there had been an incident up ahead. We didn't realise we had actually hit something."

A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service said two ambulances, a rapid response unit with paramedics and a medical team from the Royal London Hospital were sent to the scene.

Hither Green was the scene of one of the worst British rail crashes of the second half of the 20th century when 49 people were killed and 78 hurt in November 1967.

Ten years earlier - in December 1957 - 90 were killed and 173 hurt in a crash at nearby Lewisham.

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28 Feb 01 | UK
Chronology of rail crashes
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