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1975: Dozens killed in Moorgate Tube crash

VIDEO : Horrific tube crash leaves dozens dead

A London Underground train has crashed at Moorgate, killing the driver and at least 29 passengers and injuring more than 70 in the worst-ever Tube disaster.

The 0837 train from Drayton Park to Moorgate was packed with commuters going to work when it overshot the platform and ploughed into a dead-end tunnel at 0846.

Passengers on platform nine said the train appeared to shudder and accelerate as it arrived at the station.

It failed to stop and carried on past the platform, into the tunnel and smashed through a sand barrier and into a brick wall at 30mph.

The driver, Leslie Newson, 55, was killed.

The front three carriages have been crushed together with the last three intact at the platform.

The crash left the station in total darkness and threw up a huge amount of soot and dust.

The rescue operation has involved several teams - police, London Underground staff, fire crews, doctors and nurses from St Bartholomew's Hospital and members of the Salvation Army.


"It was a horrible mess of limbs and mangled iron"

Gerard Kemp, journalist

They have been working all day to free the dead and the injured from the tangled mass of metal in atrocious conditions.

Only one journalist was allowed down into the tunnel - Gerard Kemp of the Daily Telegraph.

"It was a horrible mess of limbs and mangled iron," he said.

"One of the great problems [for the rescue teams] was the intense heat down there. It must have been 120 degrees. It was like opening the door of an oven."

Twelve hours after the tragedy, a young policewoman was brought out of the front carriage after her foot was amputated.

The last known survivor, a 26-year-old man, was brought out at 2200GMT.

It is feared many more bodies will be found over the next few days.

The cause of the crash is, as yet, unknown.

In Context
The final death toll was 43.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery.

The driver had been in good health and had not taken any alcohol or drugs, and was considered an unlikely suicide candidate.

He had worked for London Underground since 1969 and was known to be a careful, conscientious driver.

The guard, 18-year-old Robert Harris, admitted that he had not noticed the train getting faster as it pulled into the station.

Investigations carried out after the crash confirmed the brakes had not been applied and the driver had not even raised his hands to protect his face at the moment of impact.

Nothing was wrong with the train, the signalling equipment or the track, nevertheless new safety measures were introduced after the tragedy.


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