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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 08:54 GMT
Passengers tell of rail crash 'panic'
Ben Goodwin and Jennifer Short
Ben Goodwin and Jennifer Short were on the train
Some of the passengers on the train which crashed in Lincolnshire have told of the panic and confusion following the impact.

One person died and 14 others were taken to hospital after a train collided with a van which had come onto the rails near Lincoln.

Cheryl Beetlestone from Telford was forced to smash a window and leap from the train after doors failed to open.

She said there was a strong smell of petrol and "everyone was screaming".

We could smell petrol so knew we had to get out

Passenger Cheryl Beetlestone

She added: "There was no warning that anything was going to happen - nothing at all.

"We could smell petrol so knew we had to get out. We jumped out of windows and headed for a hostel we could see nearby.

"There were lots of fire engines and police and everyone was just screaming."

Leaving the hospital 17-year-old Ben Goodwin, from Metheringham, Lincolnshire, described how he managed to force open the doors of the train with his hands and lead his girlfriend, Jennifer Short, 17, to safety.

People screaming

He said: "There was just this massive crash and the lights went out.

"Then people started screaming. We could smell fuel everywhere.

"The doors wouldn't open at first then we managed to get them open and people came out.

I was reading the horoscope and it said I was going to have an eventful day

Passenger Jennifer Short

"There was a lot of panic and screaming but eventually people made their way up to the hostel. Then we could see the van and everything.

"It was just in bits. There was a man looking down from the bridge and he was just staring. He couldn't believe it."

Mr Goodwin said the passengers on the train were already nervous because the service had stopped for no apparent reason just after it left the train station for about five or 10 minutes.

He said: "We didn't know why and everyone was thinking about it when the crash happened."

Miss Short, from Washingborough, Lincolnshire, said the pair both suffered bruised ribs after hitting the table they were sitting at.

She said: "I was just sitting reading my paper when it happened. I was reading the horoscope and it said I was going to have an eventful day."

click here to go to Lincolnshire
See also:

28 Feb 02 | England
One dead after train crash
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