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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 17:07 GMT
Tube crash 'could have killed'
Damaged train
Carriages hit the platform as the train derailed
London Underground (LU) has said it was lucky that no one was killed in the Chancery Lane derailment.

Paul Godier, LU's managing director, told the London Assembly's transport committee: "It could easily have been an accident involving multiple fatalities."

The 25 January crash on the Central Line was caused by a motor shearing away from securing bolts and hitting the tracks.

Services on the line are not currently expected to be back at full strength until the end of March, although Tube bosses hope some shuttle trains will run next week.

Paul Godier
The Tube is safe - we will learn from this accident

Paul Godier

But plans to resume services on the Waterloo & City Line on Thursday night have been postponed because testing has taken longer than expected, Mr Godier said.

Thirty-two people were injured when the train came off the track and hit the tunnel wall at Chancery Lane.

Mr Godier said it was carrying 800 passengers on a line which runs through London's busy West End shopping district.

Fatigue is the most likely cause of the bolt failure, compounded by failure of a safety bracket.

Broken glass on Tube train
32 passengers were taken to hospital after the crash

No services have run on the Central and Waterloo & City Lines since the accident, as work takes place to revamp 2,800 train motors on the 700-carriage fleet.

Mr Godier said: "The Tube is safe. We will learn from this accident."

Operational and safety procedures are now being investigated by LU and the Health and Safety Executive.

Mr Godier confirmed hundreds of man-hours had been built into the network's safety procedures as engineers check bolts are tightened by hand.

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BBC London's Julie Gatenby
"Mr Godier refused to name a date for when the Central Line would resume service"
See also:

13 Feb 03 | England
07 Feb 03 | England
05 Feb 03 | England
29 Jan 03 | England
28 Jan 03 | England
27 Jan 03 | England
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