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EDITIONS
Friday, 10 May, 2002, 19:34 GMT 20:34 UK
'Chaos' at train crash site
The scene of the rail crash, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
One carriage ploughed along the station's platform
The accident at Potters Bar - a few miles from the site of the Hatfield rail disaster - left local residents shocked and distressed.

Eyewitnesses have spoken of scenes of chaos where the train derailed.

Alun Ticehurst, who works in an office above the station, was one of the first on the scene.

"The train looked as though it had derailed, then flipped over several times before crashing into the bridge.

We smashed the windows and helped get people out

Eye witness Sam Irving

"The under carriage was ripped off and scratches on the train and the angle it lay across two platforms made it appear as if it had rolled over several times.

"I cannot believe what I have witnessed today.

"I am in shock and just want to go home, appreciate my family and pray for those people who are no longer with us."

Sam Irving had been walking up the ramp to the platform as the train crashed.

He said: "I saw all the debris coming down and just ran for it."

Mr Irving estimated the train had been travelling at about 70 mph when it hit.

"There were people trapped in the train as well.

"There were certainly one or two people dead on the rails.

"We smashed the windows and helped get people out."

The scene of the rail crash, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Rescue workers look for survivors at the scene

Mary Kinsella, from Hatfield - which is about six miles from Potters Bar, had been on the station forecourt when the accident happened.

"I heard this terrible bang like an explosion.

"I looked round and there was smoke and rubble everywhere.

"I thought it must be the train but I stood there and was absolutely flabbergasted. I was totally shocked and rooted to the spot.

"All we could see was rubble and black smoke.

"We saw some girls coming out of the station - they were screaming and crying and talking on their mobile phones.

"They seemed to be uninjured but were very frightened and upset."

People and ambulances arrived very, very quickly

Martin Fricker

Pat Matthews was in a car with his wife and two other relatives going under the bridge when parts of it collapsed.

"Suddenly there was an enormous crash, debris all around us, masonry, goodness knows what.

"The rear window of the car went.

"I had no idea what had happened.

"I stopped the car and got out and realised that the railings from up top had come down, blocking the road completely.

"Just in front of that was my brother-in-law's car which was absolutely wrecked and he came out and he had blood and his forehead."

Rescue operation

Martin Fricker, whose home overlooks the station, said three of the carriages were some 150 yards away from the rail car which had landed on the platform.

"I did hear a big bang but I don't think it was an explosion - I think it was the impact of the train hitting the platform."

He said the rescue operation appeared to have been efficient.

"People and ambulances arrived very, very quickly," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Gavin Hewitt
"They were able to get the injured out very quickly"
Passenger on the platform Sam Irving
"We smashed the windows and helped people out"

Click here to go to BBC Beds, Herts and Bucks

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10 May 02 | England
10 May 02 | England
10 May 02 | UK
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