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Prime Minister vows to ‘learn the lessons’ from Stonehaven rail tragedy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson has pledged to implement any changes recommended by safety watchdogs in the wake of the Stonehaven rail crash.

The prime minister, speaking three weeks on from the tragedy, said he will ensure “nothing like this happens again”.

Three men died when the 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow train hit a landslide across the tracks on August 12 – train driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62.

Replying to a House of Commons question from north-east MP Andrew Bowie, Mr Johnson hailed the emergency services and community of Stonehaven for their bravery in the aftermath of the accident.

Mr Bowie visited the scene at Carmont on August 13 and has closely followed the preparation of accident reports by the rail industry, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, and investigation by the police under the instruction of the Lord Advocate.

In the first prime minister’s questions since the UK Parliament reconvened, Mr Bowie said: “Three weeks ago today, the community in my constituency of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, indeed, the entire country was rocked by the events on the railway line just south of Stonehaven — tragic events in which three men, Brett McCullough, Chris Stuchbury and Donald Dinnie tragically lost their lives.

“I’m sure the prime minister and the whole House will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those three men today, as well as thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the incredible men and women of our emergency services and multiple agencies who worked in incredibly difficult conditions to help the survivors from that incident.

The scene near Stonehaven following the derailment of the ScotRail train, which cost the lives of three people.

“The interim report is on the desk of the Transport Secretary as we speak and I know that the full report will take time to run its course, as is only right.

“What assurances can the prime minister give my constituents that the serious questions that they have will be answered, any recommendations will be implemented and that the Government will do everything it can to prevent an accident like this from ever happening again.”

Mr Johnson replied: “I know the whole House will want to join with me in sending our condolences to the family and friends of Brett McCullough, Donald Dinnie and Christopher Stuchbury.”

“We must ensure that we learn the lessons of this tragic event to make sure that no such incident recurs in the future,” he added.

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