Page last updated at 08:30 GMT, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 09:30 UK

Potters Bar rail crash inquest to open

Potters Bar
The train was travelling at 100 mph when it derailed

An inquest into the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002 will open later in Hertfordshire.

Seven people died and 76 were injured when a high-speed train came off the rails just outside the station.

The inquest will hear from survivors and relatives of those who died, including the children's author Nina Bawden whose husband died.

Various demands for a full public inquiry were rejected by the government in 2005.

Judge Michael Findlay Baker QC will conduct the inquest into the deaths of Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Jonael Schickler, Alexander Ogunwusi, Chia Hsin Lin, Chia Ching Wu and Agnes Quinlivan.

The inquest will be held at the Spirella Building in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, and is expected to last about two months.

Judge Baker said: "Eight years have passed since the Potters Bar rail crash.

"The delay in holding an inquest has been extreme and will have protracted to an exceptional degree the distress of those who have been bereaved.

"In their interest and in the more general public interest, there must be no more delay."

Perdita Kark, who lost her father in the accident, said she hoped what emerged from the inquest would "teach the railways how to better organise themselves, have a better infrastructure, be more careful about how maintenance is dealt with, who keeps an eye on it, who reports back to who, how people are trained and so on".

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