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EDITIONS
Monday, 11 October, 1999, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
'Nothing prepared me for the horror'
Rescue workers
The search has taken its toll on rescue workers
Firefighter Sally Cox says none of her training could have prepared her for the carnage she witnessed in the aftermath of the Paddington rail disaster.

Mrs Cox, whose picture was plastered across many newspapers in the crash aftermath as she wiped her face, was involved in the arduous task of locating and freeing bodies from one of the trains.

She said: "We had to climb a ladder on to the top where the sides had been ripped off.

"My initial reaction was shock at what I was seeing.

'Very upsetting'

Sally Cox
Sally Cox wipes away a tear as she struggles with the vision of horror
"How something as solid as a train can be ripped apart so easily, seeing people's belongings - the odd shoe lying there, people's mobile phones ringing, books they had been reading - makes you realise just how fragile human life is and how easily it can be taken away."

London Train Crash
The 31-year-old from East Ham, east London, said: "It is upsetting to see things like that. It reminds you that these are just normal people, people going to work that have families who care about them."

Mrs Cox, who has a 10-year-old son, Joe, said no training could have prepared her for what she saw.

"In training, you are shown photos of other major incidents so you are prepared in that way, but nothing in my training prepared me for it when I saw it in real life," she said.

Mrs Cox said: "When you are removing the casualties, you are just thinking about how you are going to do this job. You just shut yourself off.

"I was shattered when that photo was taken. We had just released the second body. It is upsetting to deal with that kind of thing every day but we are trained to do that."

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BBC News's Emma Simpson reports on how the emergency services dealt with the disaster
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