Paddington rail disaster: Twenty-one train crash victims named

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The Independent Online

THE FLAG on St Leonard's church in Lexden, Essex, is flying at half-mast today, after the loss of Andrew Thompson, a parishioner and father of four daughters, who was killed in the rail crash as he travelled to a new accounting job in Slough on the Thames Turbo train.

THE FLAG on St Leonard's church in Lexden, Essex, is flying at half-mast today, after the loss of Andrew Thompson, a parishioner and father of four daughters, who was killed in the rail crash as he travelled to a new accounting job in Slough on the Thames Turbo train.

Mr Thompson was one of 21 victims formally named; an inquest into their deaths was opened and adjourned at Westminster coroner's court yesterday. Nineteen men and two woman were identified, the first people in a list expected ultimately to reach 70.

Across London, 26 survivors were being treated in five hospitals. Seven of them remain in intensive care, with a further eight in specialist burns units. Mr Thompson was one of the few victims of whom much is known. Aged 52, he was a "friendly, out-going person" who was strongly committed to the local church, his vicar said last night. At St Leonard's church he had served on the parish council and had been the treasurer.

"I knew him very well," said the Rev Stephen Carter. "I think the whole community is particularly stunned and we all feel very distressed for the family."

Mr Thompson was married to Pam and they had four daughters, Elizabeth, Wendy, Rebecca and Alison. His family was too upset to talk yesterday. Mr Thompson was a man of "very clear principles" and his Christian faith was very important to him, Mr Carter said.

As he spoke, other clergymen trying to help families to come to terms with their grief were themselves being counselled. "We have to minister to those who are ministering to others," said the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Rev Dominic Walker.

The ambulance service has also offered counselling to paramedics traumatised by what they have seen. Their jackets were so badly stained with blood, they were burnt on bonfires.

And last night, paramedics who have spent all week dealing with the dying and injured admitted they were forced to leave badly injured passengers to die as they struggled to rescue the ones who might be saved. They told Frank Dobson, the Secretary of State for Health, that they even had to stand on dead victims in the aftermath of the Paddington carnage.

Mr Dobson was visiting the headquarters of the London ambulance service at Waterloo to thank staff for their efforts and bravery at the disaster scene on Tuesday.

One crew member, a senior training manager called David Whitmore, said the worst thing he and his colleagues had to do was to leave patients who were barely alive to die: "If some of those passengers had been the only ones to treat at an accident then we [might] have been able to do something for them.

"It's a horrible thing to say, but we could not afford to waste our resources on those people who were alive but had little chance of survival."

Mr Whitmore, 40, has 20 years' experience and has been to six rail accidents. But Paddington, he said, was far and away the worst. "For sheer magnitude this was the most horrible thing I've ever been to," he said.

Mr Whitmore described how he was forced to stand on a dead body to help a young woman who was trapped in the tangled wreckage with her face pressed up against the window of the train.

"It was a harrowing sight. The woman was trapped there for hours. All I could do was to hold her hand and speak to her until eventually we managed to get her out. She was incredible." Plasterer, engineer, caretaker, consultant: the grim toll grows

THE BODIES of 30 victims have been recovered form the Paddington rail crash so far. Twenty-one had been identified by last night. The victims named are:

DEREK ANTONOWITZ, 25, a computer consultant, of Willesden Green, north- west London

ANTONIO LACOVARA, 24, a graphic designer, of Lewisham, south-east London

FELA LAPIDO, 33, an information technology professional from Muswell Hill, north London

NEIL DOWSE, 39, a sheet metal worker, of Forest Hill, south-east London

OLA BRATLIE, 26, a telecommunications engineer from Norway

ANDREW THOMPSON, 52, an accountant from Colchester, Essex

DR KHAWAR TAUHEED, 44, married, a microbiologist from Romford, Essex

BRYAN TOMPSON, 61, married, a management consultant from Cirencester, Gloucestershire

ALAN STEWART, 28, a contract accountant from Fulham, west London

JENNIFER CARMICHAEL, 22, of Thatcham, Berkshire

BRIAN COOPER, 52, the driver of the Great Western InterCity train, a father of three from Hayes, Middlesex

MICHAEL HODDER, 31, the Thames train driver, a father of two from Reading, Berkshire

ANTHONY BEETON, father of two, a civil servant and adviser to Mo Mowlam, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, of Didcot, Oxfordshire

MATTHEW MACAULAY, 26, from New Zealand, a Cellnet technology contractor, of Clapham, south London

SIMON WOOD, 40, a charity worker and father of two, of Liss, Hampshire

DELROY MANNING, a plasterer, married with a baby, of Lewisham, south- east London

JOHN RAISIN, 61, a recruitment consultant, of Painswick, Gloucestershire

ROGER BROWN, 44, a software engineer, of the Isle of Dogs, east London

ELAINE CLAIR KELLOW, 24, of Paddington, west London

SHAUN DONOGHUE, 45, a statistician, of New Cross, south-east London

ROBERT COTTON, 41, school caretaker and local councillor, from Dursley, Gloucestershire.