Potters Bar rail crash 'like being in a dryer'
Thursday 03 June 2010
A senior RAF officer told an inquest yesterday how passengers caught up in the Potters Bar train crash "floated" as their carriage overturned.
Wing Commander Martin Rose said he thought he was in an "an unsurvivable accident" when the 12.45pm King's Cross to King's Lynn service left the tracks at around 1pm on 10 May, 2002. Mr Rose, a navigator who was about to start a job at RAF Marham, near King's Lynn, likened the experience to being in a "tumble dryer".
Six train passengers – Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Chia Hsin Lin, Chia Chin Wu, Alexander Ogunwusi and Jonael Schickler, as well as pedestrian Agnes Quinlivan, died and more than 70 people were hurt in the accident. Mr Rose, 46, now based in Kuwait, was speaking as the inquest in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, began to hear evidence about the accident at Potters Bar station.
The hearing is expected to last more than two months. A jury had heard how the train ran over faulty points and the last of four carriages, where Mr Rose was sitting, became detached and airborne.
"The first thing that was not right was that there was a violent lateral judder," he said. "That was momentary. Almost immediately thereafter, I was aware that we had derailed. I was bouncing up and down on my seat. My first instinct was to try and save my drink."
Mr Rose said the carriage tilted and rolled. "It rapidly became how I would imagine it is being inside a tumble dryer," he added. "I floated up out of my seat." He said he then noticed an "elderly gentleman" – Austen Kark, who died in the accident.
"He and I were floating in mid air," said Mr Rose. "I blindly reached out and managed to get hold of a rail on the luggage rack... It was enough to save my life I would suggest. As far as I was concerned, it was now an unsurvivable accident."
He said he lost consciousness then woke up to find himself wedged in a gangway, realising he had "numerous" cuts. He then realised that the carriage was wedged on the platform.
The hearing continues.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...