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Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK


Final journey for Carriage H

Work continues at the Paddington crash site

The painstaking analysis of the train and track involved in the Paddington disaster has been continuing.

London Train Crash
The lead carriage of the express - carriage H - has been lifted by a 1,000-tonne crane onto a low-loader and been taken away for analysis at a special laboratory.

Work paused for a minute's silence at 0811 BST - exactly one week after the accident. Salvage workers and members of the emergency services stood with heads bowed in respect for those who died.

The BBC's Robert Hall:"The search teams are still finding valuable evidence"
Two more victims of the disaster have been officially named.

Cyril Elliott, 41, from Beckenham, Kent, was named among the dead by Westminster Coroner Dr Paul Knapman.

The married management consultant was identified from his dental records.

Fiona Grey, 33, from Alexandria, Dumbarton, had also died in the crash, the coroner said. The single IT consultant was also identified from her dental records.

DNA experts have been brought in to help identify the bodies of five more victims.

Blood samples taken from five families are being checked against remains removed from the site.

Meanwhile, a rail union has demanded that the culture of the rail industry should be examined in the wake of the Paddington crash.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union said the disaster should be a "watershed" leading to changes into how the industry and its safety was run.

[ image: Lord Macdonald: No compromise on safety]
Lord Macdonald: No compromise on safety
On Monday the government announced a raft of emergency measures in the wake of the crash.

Transport Minister Lord Macdonald confirmed Railtrack would almost certainly be stripped of its role in safety regulation.

At the same time rail regulator Tom Winsor announced he is seeking advice on whether the rail companies involved in the crash were in breach of their licence obligations.

Lord Macdonald: "This is something that Railtrack has accepted and indeed welcomed"
Mr Winsor is examining whether Railtrack was in breach of its safety licence obligations following the publication of a report by the Health and Safety Commission on the company's performance.

Railtrack has promised its full co-operation to the government to improve rail safety.

Its commercial director Richard Middleton insisted the company could provide evidence to satisfy Mr Winsor it had met its existing obligations.

The BBC's Steven Evans: "Political issue of rail safety is rising dramatically"
Lord Macdonald said the HSC report on Railtrack's role in safety regulation reported "concerns inside the rail industry about aspects of present practice".

These concerns include:

  • The feeling among some that the railway group standards that Railtrack had developed "lack depth and technical soundness"
  • There seemed "less satisfaction with the process of decision over standards-making"
  • Incident investigation - "there are some views that this is conducted too defensively and with insufficient openness"
  • There was a general view that the principal problem was ... "the stifling effect of possible criminal proceedings on public inquiries and the publication of reports"
  • There was also "a general acknowledgement of a lack of strategic safety research" although there was no universal view that this was "a critical deficiency".

However, Lord Macdonald stressed it did not say the company's role had caused "major failures".

But he said it was right that Railtrack should lose its regulatory role so he could "ensure public confidence there is no conflict between safety standards and commercial interest".

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