Service to mark 10th anniversary of Hatfield crash

Survivors of the Hatfield rail crash will join those bereaved by the tragedy to mark the 10th anniversary of the disaster today.

The four passengers killed when an express train derailed on October 17 2000 will be remembered in a service at St Etheldreda's Church in the Hertfordshire town.

Then, survivors and families of those who died will go to the scene of the accident near Hatfield station for another service which will start at 12.20pm.

This will include a period of silence at the exact moment of the crash - 12.23pm.

Both services will be conducted by the Rector of Hatfield, the Rev Richard Pyke, who comforted survivors and the bereaved after the crash.

The family of one of those killed - pilot Steve Arthur, 46, a father-of-two from Pease Pottage, West Sussex - are expected to attend the services.

Also due to attend the church service are railway staff, Mayor of Hatfield Linda Clark, other local councillors and the Archdeacon of Hertford, the Venerable Trevor Jones.

Mr Jones said: "I hope that the service will allow relatives and others a chance to know that their grief is not forgotten and also help them to receive comfort from the service.

"Those who lost their lives or whose lives were changed by the crash, as well as the rail staff who were deeply affected by the tragedy, are all in our prayers at present."

The church service will include the lighting of candles in memory of those killed. Hymns will include The Lord Is My Shepherd.

The crash involved a Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) express train from London to Leeds.

The train, travelling at more than 100mph, derailed after passing over a section of rail which then fractured.

Twelve GNER staff and 170 passengers were on the Intercity 225 service. As well as the deaths, there were 70 injuries - four of them serious.

A phenomenon known as gauge corner cracking, or rolling contact fatigue, was blamed for the crash.

Network Rail's predecessor company, Railtrack, introduced hundreds of speed restrictions on the railways while tracks were checked for cracking. Train punctuality times fell sharply for many months.

Official inquiries into the derailment showed that, north of the crash position, the rail had fractured into more than 300 pieces.

A Health and Safety Executive inquiry report said the train had passed over a section of track which was in a poor condition and which should have either have been replaced or a temporary speed restriction should have been brought in.

Railtrack and the maintenance company involved, Balfour Beatty, faced charges over the crash.

Manslaughter charges against the companies and also against six individuals were dropped but, in 2005, after an eight-month Old Bailey trial, Balfour Beatty was fined £10 million for breaching health and safety regulations.

Network Rail, which took over from Railtrack in 2002, was fined £3.5 million for also breaching health and safety regulations.

At the end of the trial, the judge, Mr Justice Mackay, said that, in his 30 years in the legal profession, he regarded Balfour Beatty's failure as the "worst example of sustained industrial negligence in a high-risk industry he had ever seen".

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: "The impact of the tragedy at Hatfield still resonates today and my thoughts are with the friends and relatives of those killed and injured as they mark the 10th anniversary.

"The rail industry is working hard to ensure that disasters like this don't happen again. Rail travel has never been safer than it is today, and the memories of those who lost their lives will see us continue to prioritise the safety of passengers as we expand and improve our network in the future."

News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Media baron Rupert Murdoch owns News Corps and 20th Century Fox
theatrePlaywright David Williamson is struggling to find a big name to star as the media mogul
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Functional/Full Life Cycle

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Func...

SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

Business Intelligence Consultant - Central London - £80,000

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?