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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Safety glass may have saved lives
Anjanette Rossi and Louella Main
Anjanette Rossi and her daughter were among the seven killed
The father of a teenager killed in the Ufton Nervet rail crash told an inquest that safety glass could have saved her.

Emily Webster, 14, was among seven people killed when the train crashed into a car on a level-crossing near Ufton Nervet, Berkshire, in 2004.

Peter Webster told the jury inquest in Slough that four passengers would have been saved by laminated glass windows.

Seven people died when the high-speed London to Plymouth train hit Brian Drysdale's car at 100mph.

It felt like and sounded like you were inside an industrial tumble dryer
Peter Webster
Crash survivor

All eight carriages derailed in the crash on 6 November 2004.

Mr Webster, of Moretonhampstead, Devon, who was in with his daughter and her friend, said as the coach skidded along the track "it felt like and sounded like you were inside an industrial tumble dryer".

When it came to a stop he found his daughter trapped in the wreckage and realised she was probably already dead.

He said that since the tragedy he has been encouraging changes for train safety in Parliament and the House of Lords.

One man told how he lost both his partner and nine-year-old daughter, who missed an earlier train as they returned from a shopping trip.

'Family coach'

David Main said daughter Louella and his partner Anjanette Rossi, 38, declined his offer to collect them from Reading in his car before getting on the train.

Their bodies were discovered by the side of the track after the collision.

The other victims were train driver Stanley Martin, 54, of Torquay, Devon, Leslie Matthews, 72, from Warminster, Wiltshire; and Barry Strevens, 55, of Wells, Somerset.

Mr Drysdale, who was 48 and from Reading, also died.

Eighteen other people were seriously injured and 120 in total were hurt.

Broken safety hammers

The inquest heard all the victims apart from one were in the "family coach", First Great Western's carriage designated for those with children, which slid along on its side.

An inquest jury today heard other passengers, some injured themselves, went to the aid of others. They included three doctors, a nurse, and two Royal Marines.

In a statement read to the court, Craig Riach, a regimental sergeant major in the Royal Marines, told how safety hammers broke when he tried to use them to smash windows to escape.

The coroner read a number of statements from passengers who survived the crash, including doctors who tried to help Louella Main and Emily Webster.



SEE ALSO
Rail crash inquest hears of loss
08 Oct 07 |  Berkshire
Crash legal aid fight causes row
26 Apr 07 |  Berkshire
Appeal could delay crash inquest
23 Apr 07 |  Berkshire
Boy wins 'voice' for rail inquest
02 Apr 07 |  Berkshire
Inquest into Ufton Nervet crash
01 Jun 05 |  Berkshire

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