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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 May, 2003, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Families call for Potters Bar inquiry
Relatives at service
Relatives of the victims want answers
Relatives of the victims of the Potters Bar train crash have called for a public inquiry into the tragedy on its first anniversary.

The families of two Taiwanese women who died in last year's crash launched a bitter attack on the failure to establish its cause.

And the lawyer representing some of the victims' families and survivors said she did not believe anyone would be prosecuted.

Seven people were killed and more than 70 injured when the rear coach of the train heading for King's Lynn in Norfolk was derailed at the Hertfordshire station.

Agnes Quinlivan, 80
Austen Kark, 75
Jonael Schickler, 25
Emma Knights, 29
Chia-hsin Lin, 29
Chia-Ching Wu, 30
Alexander Ogonwusi, 42

The families held a press conference to voice their growing anger and frustration that no one has accepted responsibility for the crash.

Relatives of victims Chia-hsin Lin and Chia-Ching Wu flew from the Far East to Potters Bar for the first time to be there for the first anniversary.

Ms Wu's mother Mei Lin Ku wept as she read out a statement on behalf of the two families.

She said: "Our hearts have been broken, we are numb with grief, our skies have turned grey".

"With a bright future full of potential our vibrant happy daughters travelled to your country full of hope but were soon filled with sadness and were lost.

'Unbearable loss'

"On the eve of Taiwan's Mother's Day such a loss is simply unbearable.

She continued: "We would like to ask the companies concerned, where is your conscience? Where is justice?

"Where are your professional ethics? You made our daughters die for no reason, how can you be so cruel?

Station staff observe silence

Ms Wu's brother Ben said: "Every time I see my mother crying for my pet sister my heart is bleeding.

Inquiries into the crash are still ongoing, but solicitor Louise Christian had one message for the government.

She said: "These people have suffered for a year. Order the public inquiry."

Neither Railtrack, the company in overall charge of the track at the time of the crash, nor Jarvis, the company maintaining that section of the track, have accepted responsibility for the accident.

Jarvis said the faulty points involved may have been sabotaged, although the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said there was no evidence of this.

Memorial service

Its report also said the points were not up to standard and that nuts on other points in the area had not been fully tightened.

The HSE is due to publish a further progress report on its investigation at the end of May.

The families held the press conference in Potters Bar following a private ceremony to remember the victims.

Victims' relatives

Relatives joined survivors for the dedication of a memorial garden and a sculpture close to the station where the tragedy happened.

Before the short service a Buddhist ceremony commemorated the two victims from the Far East.

A public service for the people of Potters Bar was later held at a nearby school.

Hundreds of people attended the service at Mount Grace School where 10 candles were lit - seven for those who died and one for the injured, the emergency services and the local community.

Canon John Inge, acting Dean of Ely Cathedral, who was a passenger in the train involved in the crash, said: "Let us pray that truth and justice may prevail in the investigation into this tragedy".

The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"It has been a day of deep emotions"

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10 May 03  |  UK
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12 Aug 02  |  UK News


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