Tuesday, October 5, 1999 Published at 22:32 GMT 23:32 UK
Train crash: 26 dead
More bodies are among the destroyed carriages
The death toll in the Paddington rail disaster has risen to 26 and could still rise further.
They say there are definitely no more survivors in the wreckage, but fear there could be an unknown number of bodies.
The crash happened at 0811BST at Ladbroke Grove, when a two-carriage service run by Thames Trains from Paddington to Bedwyn, Wiltshire, collided with a London-bound Great Western 125 express train from Cheltenham.
As well as the 26 confirmed dead, 26 are seriously injured, 98 have what are described as minor injuries, and there are 41 "walking wounded".
Police, who are treating the wreckage as a crime scene, will work throughout the night to gather evidence as rescue teams make the scene secure.
The morning rescue operation will focus on one particularly badly damaged carriage of the Great Western train, which was destroyed by fire.
It is thought up to 60 people could have been in the carriage, but police would not speculate on how many of those could have died.
Superintendent Tony Thompson, of British Transport Police, said: "We cannot say how many bodies there are still in the wreckage. It is impossible."
But he said he feared the death toll could rise to 35, the same figure as the Clapham rail disaster in 1988.
Mr Trotter was unable to confirm whether the two train drivers were among those killed.
The government is under mounting pressure to ensure there is no delay to the inquiry as happened after the Southall rail crash in 1997, in which seven people died and 150 were injured. That hearing only began last month.
Rail experts were critical that the delay meant vital safety lessons had not been learnt.
Tuesday's crash was described as "almost a replica" of Southall. It took place on the same stretch of line.
There have been claims that the red signal which is the focus of attention over Tuesday's accident, had been passed eight times since 1993.
The same spot is also said to have been the scene of three accidents and one near-miss in recent years.
Carriages came off the track and one train burst into flames. A massive column of smoke could be seen across west London.
Survivors spoke of hearing two huge bangs, before carriages were overturned and the trains juddered to a halt.
Writer Jilly Cooper was one of the passengers on the express train, and escaped by crawling through a window.
"I saw this bright orange flash and thought this is it, my number has come up," she said.
The reason for the train passing the signal is not yet known. But one black box recorder has been recovered from the scene and is being checked. There are also reports that video evidence exists.
The Health and Safety Executive has begun its own inquiry.
The Queen sent a message of sympathy to those bereaved and injured, thanking the rescue services for their work.
Emergency numbers for worried relatives and friends are 0207 834 7777 and 01793 499458.