Southall delay risks repeat of disaster

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A REPEAT of last year's Southall train crash, which claimed seven lives, could occur while the public inquiry into the incident is delayed, lawyers' representing the victims' families have claimed.

The inquiry was supposed to start today, but it will be opened and then adjourned because criminal prosecutions of the rail firms involved could follow.

More than 160 people were injured and seven lives lost when a packed InterCity train, operated by Great Western, ploughed into a freight train run by English Welsh & Scottish last September.

Chris Mather, the lawyer heading the co-ordinating committee for the families of the those killed, believes that 12 months could pass in which another disaster could occur.

"If the reasons for the Southall crash are not investigated and addressed very quickly, there is a very real risk of a repeat of this horrifying accident," said Mr Mather, of the London firm Penningtons.