Minister visits crash site

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The Independent Online

The besieged Transport Secretary Stephen Byers yesterday visited the scene of the Potters Bar tragedy and attempted to reassure the public that everything was being done to find the cause of the accident.

He inspected the site of impact, where the fourth carriage was still lodged on the platform, before descending on to the track. Mr Buyers then spent 20 minutes listening to staff and workers at the scene before making a statement.

"What I am here to do is to express our condolences to the families of those killed and injured," said Mr Byers.

"Everyone who can see the scenes behind me will feel a great sense of shock about what has happened. It is going to be very important to find out the facts of this incident.

"We have to reassure the public and take adequate steps to ensure that incidents such as this can be stopped."

However, he was not forthcoming when questioned about the need for a public inquiry. "Let's wait to see the outcome of the investigation into this incident," he said. "If it reveals some fundamental weakness in the railway system we will need to give proper consideration to an inquiry, but I think we may be dealing with an isolated incident in this case."