Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Queen visits train crash site
The Queen walks somberly past hundreds of floral tributes
The Queen has made an unannounced visit to see for herself the devastated site of the Paddington rail crash.
She had earlier flown especially from Balmoral in Scotland to the scene of the west London rail crash which has claimed at least 30 lives.
From a specially constructed platform the Queen looked over the remains of some of the most badly damaged carriages.
Witnesses said that the Queen looked concerned as she was told of how the crash happened and how a signalman who realised what was taking place had been unable to act.
The Queen was then led past the hundreds of bouquets of flowers left as a tribute to the dead.
He said: "She said she had seen a number of the pictures on television and heard briefings and very much wanted to come and see for herself.
"She was very concerned and wished to share that concern with the people in involved."
"To see it at first hand, to see the wreckage and the pure scale of the crash was obviously something that she felt had made quite an impact.
"She said it was awful and made the point very strongly that it was ordinary people going about their ordinary business and how shocking that was."
Inferno carriage to be moved
Crash scene workers are preparing to lift the charred remains of the worst damaged carriage in the disaster from its shrouds of tarpaulin.
Assistant Deputy Commissioner Andy Trotter said that although the remains of just one body were discovered yesterday, there was a possibility that other passengers might be found underneath the devastated carriage.
He said the carriage would be lifted and airbags placed underneath so a thorough search could be conducted.
Once this had been completed the carriage would be put on a low loader and taken away from the scene for more tests, he added.
The task of identifying victms has been made easier by the discovery that the initial estimates of the temperature of the fire in carriage H had been too high. But the fire is now thought to have still reached 600 degrees centigrade.
Call for combined inquiry
Meanwhile, lawyers acting for the families of victims of the Southall rail disaster have told its public inquiry that it should be merged with the coming investigation into the Paddington rail crash.
Inquiry chairman Professor John Uff QC said time was needed to see how "overlapping" issues surrounding the two tragedies should be explored.
The inquiry also heard from Anthony Scrivener QC, representing rail union Aslef, who called for control of the railway infrastructure to be brought back into public ownership.
He added that Aslef was instructing its members to impose low speed limits at identified railway signals across the UK with immediate effect following the revelation a red light was passed before last week's accident.