Saturday, October 9, 1999 Published at 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Crash experts pursue grim task
Work has started on removing the carriages from the crash site
Pathologists searching for victims of the Paddington rail disaster are carrying out a delicate examination of the ashes of the most seriously burnt-out carriage.
Police say at least 40 people died in Tuesday morning's collision and fire, which happened when the express ploughed into a commuter service run by Thames Trains which had passed through a red light.
It has taken more than four days for coach H to be made safe enough to be searched by Dr West and Dr Hill, who will spend two or three days working at the site with a team of specialist Metropolitan Police officers.
Superintendent Tony Thompson, of British Transport Police, said: "It is everything you could expect of a scene that was affected by a fireball with an estimated temperature of 1,000 degrees...but some items of jewellery which could help identify the deceased may have survived."
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has ordered the Health and Safety Commission to begin an immediate investigation of track and signal operator Railtrack's role in the safety of Britain's rail network.
He made the announcement after he and senior rail industry figures discussed the crash with Prime Minister Tony Blair on Saturday.
"Some of the coaches were the same as those involved in the Southall crash," said a Great Western spokesman. "After Southall, some carriages with only light damage were deemed repairable, subjected to a full safety assessment and reintroduced into service."
An interim report by the Health and Safety Executive has said that the immediate cause of the crash appeared to be the Thames train jumping a red light, although it also highlighted failures within the UK rail system.
It ordered Railtrack to make improvements to 22 signals around the country which train drivers have repeatedly passed at red.
A second inquest opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner's Court on Saturday named a further 10 victims of the crash.
The emergency police number is 0171 834 7777. Worried relatives and friends should call the same number.
All people on the train or witnesses nearby are also asked to call the British Transport Police answerphone on 0800 405040 and leave their name and numbers so they can be contacted as part of the inquiry.