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1986: Two dead in Midlands rail crash

Two passenger trains have collided in Staffordshire, killing two people and injuring almost 100 more.

Several carriages derailed when the crowded Inter City services crashed at about 1830 BST at Colwich Junction near Rugeley.

A fire brigade official said all the passengers known to have been trapped in the wreckage had been rescued but added there were still some people unaccounted for.

One of the trains was travelling from London to Manchester and the other from Liverpool to London - both were packed with people going away for the weekend.

A spokesman for British Rail said the expresses would have been moving "very fast" between stations.

The injured were taken to the nearby Stafford General Hospital and a local church.

An ambulance service representative told reporters 30 casualties were in a serious condition and said it was treating the crash as a major incident.

Violent judder

BBC reporter Colin Philpott was on the northbound train when the accident happened, and was able to clamber out of his carriage with other passengers after the impact.

"There was a sudden judder as though the train was breaking very quickly and people were thrown forward slightly.

"Within a few seconds there was a much more violent judder and the train came to a very abrupt halt," he said.

Mr Philpott also told BBC News he had seen two carriages pointing into the air and several others concertinaed into each other.

Police and railway officials have so far refused to speculate on the cause of the accident.

In Context
The final number of injured was 75. Although initial reports said two people had died, the only fatality was the driver of the Liverpool-London train.

The driver of the other London-Manchester service and a trainee accompanying him were able to jump free of their locomotive moments before the impact.

An investigation found their train had crossed into the path of the southbound express after they misread a signal and failed to stop at the junction.


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