British Transport Police detectives have begun an investigation into a train collision in Salisbury, Wiltshire last night (31 October).
At around 6.45pm, a Great Western Railway service from Southampton to Cardiff collided with a South Western Railway service from London to Honiton as they both entered the Fisherton Tunnel in Salisbury.
Both trains were travelling in the same direction and one train struck the side of the other, causing it to derail whilst in the tunnel. The front few carriages remained upright while the back tipped on their side.
92 passengers were on both train services. Around thirty people attended a casualty centre which was set up in a nearby church, the majority of who were walking wounded and assessed at the scene.
Thirteen people were taken to hospital by ambulance where they have received treatment for minor injuries. One remains there.
Unfortunately, the driver of the train was more seriously injured and his injuries are believed to be life-changing. He also remains in hospital in a stable condition this morning, and his family have been informed.
We have now moved out of the rescue phase of the operation and into the investigation which will involve the trains remaining in situ for some time. The investigation remains at an early stage but a senior detective has been appointed to lead the enquiries as we work to establish the full circumstances of how this incident came to happen.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Langley said: “This will no doubt have been an incredibly frightening experience for all those involved and our thoughts are with them and their families today.
“Specialist officers and detectives remain on scene in Salisbury and we are working closely alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) 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.
“This has been a large scale, multi-agency operation and I would like to pay particular to thanks to our emergency service colleagues for their efforts in safely evacuating passengers, and to the many members of the local community who reached out with offers of help.”