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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 1 January, 2003, 16:32 GMT
Landslide derails train
The derailed train
The train derailed by a steep embankment
A train carrying 105 passengers has derailed in Surrey after hitting a landslide.

The accident happened at 1200 GMT on Wednesday just north of Merstham tunnel near Redhill, and involved the 1056 GMT Brighton to London Victoria service.

One man was taken to hospital suffering whiplash injuries and the front wheels were ripped off the eight-carriage train.

Police and emergency crews have had difficulty reaching the scene because of the muddy conditions.

'Fortunate'

The injured man was carried on a stretcher by firefighters up a steep embankment and taken to East Surrey Hospital.

Gary Butson, director of operations for Surrey Ambulance Service, said: "This incident could have been an awful lot worse.

"We launched our major incident plan involving the police, the ambulance, the fire and the health services.

"There were 10 ambulances at the site and we had 30 standing by from Kent, Sussex and London.

"Those who were not injured were put on to buses. Fortunately those buses were full."

Lines blocked

A British Transport Police spokeswoman said: "The cause of this derailment appears to be a landslide caused by the recent heavy rain.

"People have been reported to be suffering from shock.

Network Rail said the derailment was being classed as "minor" but services would be affected.

A spokesman said: "Both lines were blocked but there is a diversionary route so it's still possible to get to Gatwick and Brighton."

Re-railing equipment has been sent to the scene to help in the recovery operation, he added.


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25 Nov 02 | England
19 Nov 02 | England
12 Nov 02 | England
18 Jun 02 | Scotland
07 Jun 02 | N Ireland
13 May 02 | England
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