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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 17:26 GMT
Train victim's family distraught
The train wreckage
Margaret Masson died after the train crash in Cumbria
The granddaughter of the woman who died in the rail crash in Cumbria has said her family is "distraught".

Margaret Masson, 84, from the Cardonald area of Glasgow, died following the Virgin train derailment at Grayrigg, near Kendal, on Friday evening.

Her granddaughter Margaret Jones, 41, said her mother and father had been in the same carriage as Mrs Masson.

Margaret Langley, 61, and Richard Langley, 63, are in a "very serious condition" in hospital in Preston.

Mrs Jones said: "We are devastated by the death of our nan and about mum and dad being so very poorly.

"We are distraught but we are all here for our parents and we ask that we are left alone to cope during this difficult time."

'Very active'

Neighbours of Mrs Masson described her as a "lovely person".

Mhairi MacDonald said Mrs Masson, who had three sons and a daughter, was very active and "always out and about".

Other neighbours have described her death as a "terrible shock".

Ms MacDonald said Mrs Masson had lived in the Cardonald area for many years.

"I used to pop in and see her all the time," she said.

"She was 84 but she was still very active and she was always out and about.

"She has a daughter in Southport. She did her own thing and she always seemed to be on the go."

Others who knew her within the small block of flats in Tarfside Gardens were too upset to speak and said they had not been officially told of their friend's death.

He is a definitely a hero. In the sober light of day we will have to see if he can be recognised as such
Sir Richard Branson
Virgin Rail

Several carriages were left on their sides after the Virgin London to Glasgow service derailed at about 95mph.

Network Rail, which is responsible for maintaining track, said it was now checking points in the crash area.

The driver of the derailed train was hailed as a hero by his boss Sir Richard Branson.

Ian Black, a former police officer, was at the controls when the Virgin Pendolino came off the rails near Grayrigg.

Sir Richard said he believed the accident could have been far worse if it had not been for the bravery of the driver.

Badly injured

"He is a definitely a hero," he said.

"In the sober light of day we will have to see if he can be recognised as such.

Sir Richard added: "The driver came around the corner, the line was defective and the train went off the line.

"But he has carried on sitting in his carriage for half a mile running the train on the stone.

"He could have tried to get back and protect himself but he didn't and he has ended up quite badly injured."




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Richard Branson paying tribute



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