Three dead after passenger train derails


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Media captionSeveral fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene near Stonehaven

Three people have died after a passenger train derailed in Aberdeenshire.

A major incident was declared and about 30 emergency service vehicles were called to the scene near Stonehaven.

It is thought the train hit a landslide after heavy rain and thunderstorms which caused flooding and travel disruption across Scotland.

The incident involved the 06:38 ScotRail service from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street.

British Transport Police said: “Very sadly, despite the best efforts of paramedics, we can confirm that three people have been pronounced dead at scene.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her thoughts were with all those involved in the incident.

She said the derailment had happened in “a very difficult location for emergency services to access”.

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Emergency services at the scene of the derailment

She added: “I know and appreciate that there will be many families who will be anxious if they believe they had relatives who were on that train.

“We will do everything we can to make sure the emergency services are supported, that families are supported.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am saddened to learn of the very serious incident in Aberdeenshire and my thoughts are with all of those affected. My thanks to the emergency services at the scene.”

Early indications are that the heavy rain could have been the main factor in causing today’s crash in Aberdeenshire.

One rail industry source says the 06:38 service from Aberdeen to Glasgow was initially halted because of flooding on the line.

The driver apparently contacted control to ask permission to switch tracks.

It’s believed the train reversed and switched to clearer tracks and then continued on its route to Glasgow.

Then it is thought the train hit a landslide and derailed.

However, this initial, unconfirmed version of events should now be closely examined by the UK’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

Its job is to establish all the facts.

The train’s computer systems should show key indicators like the speed it was travelling at when it left the track.

In recent years incidents like this on the UK’s railways have become incredibly rare. The last major derailment was in 2007 in Cumbria.

The train was made up of two locomotives – at the front and back – and four carriages.

It is understood that the front locomotive and three passenger carriages left the track and came to rest on an embankment.

British Transport Police said its officers had been called to the scene of the derailment at about 09:43.

A few minutes later, Network Rail tweeted that there had been reports of a landslip at Carmont and that services between Dundee and Aberdeen had been halted.

The chief executive of Network Rail, Andrew Haines, is cutting short his family holiday in Italy to fly back to the UK.

NHS Grampian confirmed it was on a “major incident footing”, and ScotRail said it was assisting the emergency services.

Kevin Lindsay, the Scottish organiser for train drivers’ union Aslef, said: “We are aware that this is an extremely serious incident and our thoughts are with everyone involved.”

The RMT union’s Mick Lynch said: “The facts behind this ‎incident will need to be established in due course, but at this stage we are focussed on support and assistance and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.”

A centre for family and friends affected by the incident has been opened by NHS Grampian at Midstocket Church in Aberdeen. Those affected can either visit the church or phone 01224 319519.

Are you in the area? Did you witness the incident? If it is safe to do so please share your experiences by emailing .

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist.

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