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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 November, 2004, 14:39 GMT
'I thought I was going to die'
Jonathon Stace, 21, from London,
Mr Stace feels lucky to have escaped
One passenger being treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for lacerations to his arm and back has spoken about his narrow escape. Jonathon Stace, 21, from London, was on his way to a party in Newbury when the accident happened.

He told how he had caught the train "by chance" as he had been on an earlier service but got off at Reading in order to travel with his three friends.

Mr Stace, who is a student at the London College of Communication, studying graphic design, described his terror as the tragedy unfolded.

"The noise was terrifying," he said, "because it suddenly went from us being, sort of, rowdy, well not rowdy but having a good time on the train to, as soon as the lights went out, everyone was in a state of shock.

"All I could hear was the banging of the rails and the screeching and smashing of all the cars and then the sound of it running along on the gravel and the dirt as well and the glass smashing.

I felt my arm going through the window because the glass wasn't there, I felt my head as well but I managed to pull it in, my arm got dragged along

"And then the smell of diesel when we finally got out, it was quite overwhelming."

He told how the friends had been on the train only a short time when the accident happened and had each opened a can for a drink as they felt the first jolt.

He told how they had been laughing at one of their friends who had his drink spilt on him.

He said: "His drink had spilt on him, because we felt a judder, we all had a bit of a joke, we thought that it was a blip on the track but we felt the lights go out, then the next thing the train was on the side, it was rolling over."

He continued: "The lights went out, I felt like we spun over and after that I could feel bodies going on top of me and being thrown different places.

First reaction

"I felt my arm going through the window because the glass wasn't there, I felt my head as well but I managed to pull it in, my arm got dragged along, that's why it's got the lacerations."

He added: "When it happened, it was pitch-black. We couldn't see anything, the lights went out and you could just make silhouettes out of people, fortunately people found some glowsticks from the train.

"It was quite clever, everyone managed to use their phone as torches."

He told how his first reaction had been to make sure that his friends were still okay and how they managed to get out of the carriage.

But he continued: "We managed to get out and I went back because my arm at this time didn't feel too bad."

'Blood everywhere'

He told how they managed to get one woman out of the train but how another could not be moved. He then went back in a second time again to see if he could help.

"At the time I didn't feel as though I was too badly injured. I think I wanted to make sure everyone else was out, I didn't really think about it, it was just a knee-jerk reaction."

He told how it was only after helping others that he realised the full extent of his injuries.

Speaking of his arm, he said: "It was blood everywhere. My jacket I was wearing got ripped, it went from a blue jacket to a red one."

See images from the scene of the crash

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