Paddington crash manslaughter charges blocked

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The Independent Online

There will be no manslaughter prosecutions over the Paddington rail crash, it has been announced.

The Crown Prosecution Service said there was "insufficient evidence" to provide a realistic prospect of conviction of an individual or company.

Thirty-one people died when a Thames train collided with a morning rush-hour Great Western express outside Paddington station in west London on October 5, 1999.

The CPS also said there was insufficient evidence to bring an offence of endangering the safety of railway users under the 1861 Offences against the Person Act.

The CPS said it had carefully considered the evidence submitted by the British Transport Police following a "substantial investigation" into the circumstances of the collision.

The Health and Safety Executive has said that the initial cause of the accident appeared to be that the Thames train - driven by Michael Hodder, 31 - went through a red signal.