A three-week old baby was one of almost 100 passengers rescued after two trains collided near Salisbury on Sunday, leaving more than 40 people injured.
The South Western Railway (SWR) train and a Great Western Railway (GWR) service were approaching Fisherton Tunnel on separate tracks before they collided, causing one to derail, at around 6.45 pm on Sunday.
Detectives have said that one of the train drivers involved in the accident in Wiltshire has suffered life-changing injuries. The British Transport Police said 13 passengers were taken to hospital by ambulance, where all except the driver were treated for minor injuries, and 30 “walking wounded” were also attended to at a casualty centre.
Earlier reports that the GWR train struck an object were dismissed by police as were claims there had been a seven-minute delay between the derailment and the collision.
Corinna Anderson, 51, from Derby, was on the SWR train. “I was thrown against the wall and there was a massive rumbling,” she told The Times. “I’m a first aider, so I wanted to help. There was a lady in the carriage I was in and she was thrown off her seat and into the wall by the door.
“As I climbed off my train I saw the fireman cradling the baby in his arms and then I saw the mother get given the baby and they were escorted away for medical attention.”
Travel disruption is expected to last for days with most lines serving Salisbury blocked and will remain closed until at least the end of Thursday. More than 100 services via Salisbury were cancelled on Monday, including GWR services linking Cardiff and Bristol with Portsmouth and Brighton. SWR routes between London Waterloo and Exeter were also affected.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Langley of the British Transport Police said: “This will no doubt have been an incredibly frightening experience for all those involved and our thoughts are with them and their families.
“Specialist officers and detectives remain on scene and we are working closely alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the Office of Rail and Road to establish exactly how these two trains came to collide.
“We are keeping an open mind but at this early stage there has been nothing to suggest the train struck an object or that there was any significant delay between the trains colliding and then one derailing.”
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is probing the cause of the crash.
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s safety and engineering director, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The RAIB are on site and doing a very thorough investigation. Once they have completed that work they’ll hand over to us and we’ll begin the recovery work for the rolling stock then begin the track repairs.”
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