Railtrack chief to stay on

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The Independent Online

Railtrack's chief executive, Gerald Corbett, is to keep his job after the company refused to accept his offer of resignation.

Railtrack's chief executive, Gerald Corbett, is to keep his job after the company refused to accept his offer of resignation.

He had offered to resign on Wednesday after investigators said a broken track might have caused the Hatfield train crash that killed four people and injured more than 30.

A Railtrack statement said: "The Board unanimously decided that the offer should not now be accepted because Mr Corbett is the person best qualified to lead the company in the search for all root causes of the disaster and the responses.

"Rail quality improvement has been led vigorously by Mr Corbett and that effort must be followed through by the Company."

The company also confirmed that a broken rail was now looking to be the most likely cause of the tragedy.

The statement said: "While the investigation is still at an early stage, it would appear that whatever the cause of the accident, the condition of the track was not good."

It added that "a broken rail caused the derailment and that the condition of the rail, which was only five years' old, was wholly unacceptable.

"The probable cause of the fracture was gauge corner cracking. The rail was due to be replaced in November. The replacement should have been in place sooner and this was Railtrack's responsibility."

Railtrack has been under increasing pressure over the state of Britain's railway tracks, however, industry insiders had feared that Mr Corbett's resignation would do little to improve matters

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