Six injured by commuter train hitting buffers

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The Independent Online

Six passengers were injured when a packed commuter train crashed into buffers at Edinburgh yesterday. The 8.45am ScotRail service from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh hit the buffers as it pulled into Waverley station at 9.48am with about 120 people onboard.

Six women were injured, with one thought to have broken a leg. Although the train was slowing to a halt, ScotRail said injuries were probably due to passengers standing to get off and being thrown by the jolt.

The crash happened as protesters from the Safe Trains Action Group called for safety improvements at Railtrack's annual meeting 200 miles down the east coast line in York. The group's co-chairwoman, Carol Bell, said: "Waverley is owned and managed by Railtrack. Of all the places for an accident to happen today, it had to be one of their own. I hope this further convinces Railtrack that safety standards have to be improved."

John Paul Mowberry, 32, a Glasgow lawyer and one of the passengers, said people were thrown "violently forward" as it came to a halt. "There was a lot of commotion in the carriage behind me. There was quite a lot of panic to begin with and quite a lot of people were very upset very quickly. There were quite a lot of children there too." The Scottish National Party MSP Nicola Sturgeon was onboard but was unhurt.

Railtrack Scotland, ScotRail, the Health and Safety Executive and British Transport Police will investigate the crash. ScotRail said the driver had been taken off duties as matter of course but was an "experienced individual" and had tested negative for alcohol. Results of a drug test were still being awaited.

John Boyle, ScotRail's director of corporate affairs, said: "It was a very low-speed incident, but even at one mile an hour if you hit something solid there is a jolt." Hesaid an automatic safety device on the £3m Turbostar train would be activated if a driver fell ill.