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Major investigation launched into cause of Stonehaven rail tragedy which claimed three lives

A major investigation has been launched into a rail tragedy which claimed the lives of three people in the Mearns on Wednesday.

Police Scotland, the British Transport Police (BTP) and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) are working together to probe the circumstances of the derailment on the line at Carmont at about 9.45am.

Aerial images showing the derailed train near Stonehaven.

Train driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury were killed in the incident, which prompted a huge emergency response.

Six others were injured in the derailment, which led to a major incident being declared at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The joint police and ORR investigation will be separate to an independent safety probe by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable Judi Heaton said: “We can confirm that a joint investigation into the tragic incident near Stonehaven yesterday is being conducted.

The derailed train near Stonehaven.<br />Pictures by Darrell Benns 12/08/2020.

“Officers from Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road are working together closely as the investigation seeks to establish the full circumstances of what happened and will utilise the skills of all agencies.

Three dead and six in hospital as train derailment sparks major emergency response near Stonehaven

“The investigation, which will be carried out under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, is in parallel to the independent safety investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

“The multi-agency response to the incident remains ongoing and we are working with partners to support the family and friends of those involved as well as the rail family and local community.

Stonehaven train crash: Former Perthshire man named as third victim

Train driver and conductor killed in Stonehaven derailment named

“I also want to thank the responders who attended yesterday and were faced with a challenging scene. Our thanks must also go to the local community who rallied around the emergency services with many offers of assistance and we are grateful for your support.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with those affected at this difficult time.”

It comes as UK transport secretary Grant Shapps ordered Network Rail to carry out an immediate “resilience review” into areas affected by storms following the derailment.

Grant Shapps at the scene of the crash near Stonehaven on Thursday.

He wrote on Twitter: “As part of today’s visit to Stonehaven, I’ve ordered an immediate resilience review from Network Rail of areas hit by the recent storms.

“In addition I’ve requested a full report on wider network resilience, with the interim findings on my desk by 1st September.”

The crash, which caused one of the train’s four carriages to completely overturn, happened around a mile west of the hamlet of Tewel.

It took place following a night of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

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