08.44 1 RAIL Crash PASSENGERS INJURED IN RAIL SMASH By PA News Reporters
Several passengers were seriously injured today when two mainline trains collided near London's Paddington Station. Carriages were set ablaze by the collision and derailment about two miles from Paddington, near Ladbroke Grove. London Fire Brigade triggered its major incident procedure after reports of the crash. Scotland Yard said there were "seriously injured and walking wounded". One of the trains was a Great Western Trains service from Didcot Parkway in Oxfordshire to Paddington. The accident happened on the same stretch of line as the Southall rail crash in September 1997 in which seven people died and 150 were injured. mf
08.48 2 RAIL Crash
The crash happened at the height of London's morning rush hour shortly after 8am and is thought to have involved two high-speed trains both capable of travelling at 125mph. At least 12 fire engines were reported to have gone to the scene along with a stream of ambulances. St Mary's Hospital in Paddington was put on major incident alert. A spokesman said: "We have no details as yet but we are waiting the arrival of casualties." mf
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A London Ambulance Service spokesman said a total of 15 ambulances were at the scene to treat "numerous injured" after receiving a 999 call at 8.10am. A spokesman said: "Doctors and paramedics are also at the scene and we have enacted our emergency procedures." mf
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Passenger Wolfgang Schmidt, who boarded the Paddington-bound train at Didcot, said several carriages had tipped over. He said the second train was a two-carriage Thames Trains commuter service. "I can't see how many people are still in the carriages. "The inside of the carriages are not burning but there are still people trapped," he told Sky News. mf
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A spokesman for Sainsbury's supermarkets said that emergency services were treating casualties at their Ladbroke Grove store, near the crash scene. "We have a coffee shop and the emergency services are using that as a base to treat some people who are shocked and shaken," he said. He said he did not know how many people were being treated there. A fire brigade spokesman later said: "We can confirm that two high-speed trains have collided and one of the trains is on fire. "At present we have 12 fire engines at the scene and about 70 firefighters." He would not comment on casualties. Eye witness Emma Rippon said: "There was huge bang, a big of smoke and flames, like an explosion ... police say there have been lots of fatalities." She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that she had spoken to one man who had managed to escape from the wreckage. "He said he was standing in the front carriage and suddenly it slowed a little bit and then (there was) a big explosion. A fire started immediately and the smoke was unbelievable," she said. "He is very shaken, he really doesn't know what happened. He managed to climb out of a broken window. He said the front carriage had been ripped away from the locomotive." mf
09.11 1 RAIL Crash Substitute PASSENGERS FEARED DEAD IN RUSH HOUR TRAIN SMASH By PA News Reporters
A number of passengers were feared dead today and as many as 200 were injured after two mainline trains collided near London's Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour. Carriages were set ablaze by the collision and derailment, and passengers were trapped after the crash about two miles from Paddington, near Ladbroke Grove. London Fire Brigade triggered its major incident procedure and sent 12 engines to the scene, from where smoke could still be seen rising almost an hour later. St Mary's Hospital in Paddington was put on major incident alert, a spokesman said, adding that there could be as many as 200 casualties. A spokesman for First Great Western Trains said the accident happened at 8.11am and involved its high-speed 6.03am Cheltenham to Paddington service and a Thames 8.06am Paddington to Bedwyn, Wilts, local service. The Great Western train was made up of nine carriages, the spokesman said. Eyewitnesses reported seeing bodies in the wreckage, but there was no official confirmation of any fatalities. Scotland Yard said there were "seriously injured and walking wounded". The accident happened on the same stretch of line as the Southall rail crash in September 1997 in which seven people died and 150 were injured. A London Ambulance Service spokesman said a total of 15 ambulances were at the scene to treat "numerous injured" after receiving a 999 call. A spokesman said: "Doctors and paramedics are also at the scene and we have enacted our emergency procedures." mf
10.04 1 RAIL Crash Scenes GUTTED CARRIAGE TELLS STORY OF CRASH HORROR By Cahal Milmo, PA News
A burnt-out carriage lying on its side amid a mountain of jumbled wreckage bore full testimony to the horror of today's rail rush hour crash. Smoke was still pouring from the gutted remains of the Inter City 125 coach more than an hour after the train collided with a smaller commuter service outside one of Britain's busiest stations at its peak time. The chaos of the moments following the impact was plain as emergency service workers milled around the twisted carriages, some continuing to ferry the injured to a fleet of ambulances waiting in surrounding streets. Several passengers remained by the trackside, some looking towards the fire-damaged carriage, which had rolled off the tracks and onto the edge of an embankment. Further up the track, the blackened remains of a locomotive could be seen with one of its sets of wheels at right-angles to the rails as ambulance workers carefully carried an injured passenger towards help. mf
10.10 1 RAIL Crash Lead (With pictures from the scene and graphic) DEAD AND INJURED IN RUSH HOUR TRAIN SMASH By PA News Reporters
A number of passengers were feared dead today and hundreds more were injured when two mainline trains collided near London's Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour. Carriages were set ablaze by the collision and derailment, and scores of passengers were still trapped two hours after the crash about two miles from Paddington, near Ladbroke Grove. Shocked survivors reported seeing bodies in the wreckage of the two trains - the high-speed 6.03am Cheltenham to Paddington Great Western service and the Thames Trains 8.06am Paddington to Bedwyn, Wilts, local service. Eye-witnesses spoke of an inferno which engulfed some of the carriages after the smash which happened at 8.11am. Several victims suffered burn injuries and hospitals across London were put on emergency alert. mf
10.26 1 RAIL Crash Survivors PASSENGERS TELL OF CRASH HORROR By PA News reporters
Passengers today told of the rush hour horror as the two trains collided just outside London's Paddington station. Traveller Alan Macro was on the Great Western service going into Paddington. He told BBC News 24 that the train came to a juddering halt. "Outside there was flaming debris going past and there was smoke everywhere. was very frightening but we managed to get off. "We were all very shocked and it seemed to take an age to get off the train. "Only one door had opened, some other doors opened. We were very concerned because there was all this smoke outside the train. "We were concerned that we were going to get off in time. It was very orderly but it did seem to take a very long time." Suzy Russell, 49, was among the first of the relatives and friends of the injured to arrive at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington after hearing her business partner had been injured in the crash. Her partner, a 51-year-old man, got someone else to contact her on a mobile from the scene. Mrs Russell said: "He told me he had burns on his arms and he was very shaken. "He asked me to contact his family to tell them he was alive because he realised it was a very serious accident." Mrs Russell said that she had regularly travelled with him on that train from Didcot for the past three years and only moved a month ago. "It will have been full of commuters," she said. "Very rarely were there any children on the train." mfl
10.37 1 RAIL Crash Stops STATIONS WHERE DOOMED TRAIN PICKED UP PASSENGERS By Peter Woodman, Transport Correspondent, PA News
These are the stations at which the First Great Western 125 express train stopped on its journey to London's Paddington terminus today. 6.03 am leaves Cheltenham in Gloucestershire 6.19 arrives Gloucester 6.33 arrives Stonehouse 6.39 arrives Stroud 6.54 arrives Kemble 7.10 arrives Swindon 7.27 arrives Didcot 7.42 arrives Reading 8.11 Time of crash near Ladbroke Grove in west London 8.12 Time train had been due at Paddington. First Great Western said it had no exact number of passengers on board but added that the train would have been "pretty full". end
10.38 1 RAIL Crash Hotlines RAIL CRASH EMERGENCY NUMBERS Worried relatives and friends of those injured in the London rail accident are asked to contact hotlines set up by the police and train company. :: Scotland Yard issued a Casualty Bureau telephone number - 0171 834 7777. :: Great Western Trains asked people to ring 0207 834 7777. :: Gloucestershire Police asked anyone inquiring about the safety of passengers who started their journey in the county to ring 01242 276729. end
10.47 1 RAIL Crash 2nd Lead (With pictures from the scene and graphic) DEATH TOLL MOUNTS AFTER RUSH HOUR TRAIN SMASH By PA News Reporters
At least six passengers died today and hundreds more were injured when two mainline trains collided near London's Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour. More than two hours after the smash rescuers were still frantically trying to free passengers from the twisted and scorched wreckage. Carriages were set ablaze by the collision and derailment, and survivors spoke of hearing cries for help from victims trapped in the burning carriages after the crash about two miles from Paddington, near Ladbroke Grove. Scores of shocked commuters staggered from the wreckage of the two trains - the high-speed 6.03am Cheltenham to Paddington Great Western service and the Thames Trains 8.06am Paddington to Bedwyn, Wilts, local service. Eye-witnesses spoke of an inferno which engulfed some of the carriages after the collision, which happened at 8.11am. Several victims suffered burn injuries and hospitals across London were put on emergency alert. At 10.30am British Transport Police confirmed four dead, but said they were still checking the wreckage and the death toll could rise. Chief Inspector Brian Gosden said: "I can confirm that four people are dead. may be others. The rescue is still taking place and there are a number of people trapped in the train." Sky News reporter David Chater reported counting six bodies at the scene. mf
10.48 1 RAIL Crash Southall 'CRASH BEARS STRIKING SIMILARITIES TO SOUTHALL DISASTER' By Eileen Murphy, PA News
A senior solicitor representing victims of the Southall rail crash said today he believed there were already "striking similarities" between that accident and today's collision at Paddington. Des Collins, senior partner with Collins Solicitors which represents 35 Southall victims and victims from previous accidents, said: "Clearly we don't know how or why this happened but we have to ask ourselves whether this accident would have happened if the public inquiry process into Southall had been quicker getting off the ground." Mr Collins told PA News: "There are obviously problems with the privatised rail network that require and have required urgent attention for the last three years. The delays to the public inquiry have not helped that examination. .. end
10.56 1 RAIL Crash Author AUTHOR ESCAPES UNHURT FROM RAIL CARNAGE By Dave Higgins, PA News
Author Jilly Cooper escaped unhurt from the rail crash today by climbing through a broken window from an overturned carriage. Her assistant Pippa Birch said she was in a carriage which overturned. "Fortunately she managed to get out through a broken window. "She rang her husband on her phone from the scene and we were just so relieved. "She spoke of a lot of blood and also talked of flames but I don't know what happened to everyone else in the carriage. "I heard about the crash earlier and my blood just went cold. I saw the train as I was coming to work this morning and I thought 'Jilly's on there'." Miss Cooper's husband Leo said: "It was the first I heard when she rang. It's obviously a big relief." Author Miss Cooper, who lives in the Cotswolds, caught the train at Stroud and was heading to London for an art conference. mfl
11.04 1 RAIL Crash Hospitals HOSPITALS ON ALERT ACROSS LONDON
Victims of the Paddington train crash were taken to several different hospitals. By mid-morning a total of 33 patients had been admitted to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, said its general manager, Joseph Gannon. He said that a total of eight were seriously injured - including three who were critically ill in the resuscitation unit. Another five were being treated in intensive care. Two-thirds of the patients were male and a third were female. So far no children had arrived at the hospital. University College Hospital in central London was also receiving casualties. A spokesman said it had so far received one seriously injured adult male, who had rib injuries. The hospital was awaiting the arrival of a second adult male, thought to have neck injuries. More casualties were expected, and the hospital was expecting to have to deal with burns as well as crush and impact injuries. The hospital had also despatched a mobile medical team, including two surgeons, and anaesthetist and nurses, to the scene. Spokeswoman Julie Shephard said it had rehearsed its major accident exercise only two weeks ago. "We were preparing for an accident on January 1, for the millennium in fact. "So we were already in a state of readiness for accidents of this kind. "We learned some valuable lessons from that rehearsal which we are now putting into practice." A spokeswoman for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which has a specialist burns unit, said they had received one casualty, a 30-year-old woman who had suffered 60% burns. "We are on stand-by and are expecting a lot of casualties, but we don't yet have any idea how many." A spokeswoman for Charing Cross Hospital confirmed that two casualties from the rail collision, both suffering from "serious injuries", had been admitted. She said she could not confirm their sex, age or the nature of their injuries. The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead was expecting one patient and was on alert to deal with burns injuries. The hospital had despatched a mobile medical team to the scene. mfl
11.36 1 RAIL Crash 3rd Lead (With pictures from the scene and graphic) DEATH TOLL MOUNTS AFTER RUSH HOUR TRAIN HORROR By PA News Reporters
At least eight passengers died today and hundreds more were injured when two mainline trains collided near London's Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour. More than three hours after the smash rescuers were still trying to free passengers from the twisted and scorched wreckage. Bodies were seen being carried away and a makeshift morgue was set up on the trackside. Carriages were set ablaze by the collision and derailment, and survivors spoke of hearing cries for help from victims trapped in the burning rolling stock after the crash about two miles from Paddington, near Ladbroke Grove. Scores of shocked commuters staggered from the wreckage of the two trains - the high-speed 6.03am Cheltenham to Paddington Great Western service and the Thames Trains 8.06am Paddington to Bedwyn, Wilts, local service. Eye-witnesses spoke of an inferno which engulfed some of the carriages after the collision, which happened at 8.11am. Several victims suffered burn injuries and hospitals across London were put on emergency alert. At 11.20am Chief Inspector Brian Gosden of British Transport Police said eight people were confirmed dead and at least 160 people had been injured. The confirmation of at least eight fatalities makes today's accident the worst rail crash in terms of deaths since the Clapham disaster of December 1988, when 35 people lost their lives. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott announced a public inquiry into the crash after visiting the scene. Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "I am absolutely appalled by what is a truly dreadful tragedy." mf
17.56 1 RAIL Crash Nightlead (With pictures from the scene and graphic) SHOCK, GRIEF AND ANGER AFTER RUSH HOUR TRAIN CARNAGE By PA News Reporters
At least eight passengers died today, dozens were trapped in burning carriages and hundreds more were injured when two packed commuter trains collided near London's Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour. As rescuers searched for more bodies tonight in the twisted and scorched wreckage, shock and grief turned to anger at what was an almost identical re-run of the Southall rail disaster, which claimed seven lives in September 1997 on the same stretch of line. A routine journey to work today turned to tragedy for hundreds of commuters crammed into the two trains which collided and burst into flames. A major lapse in safety procedures allowed the Thames Trains 8.06am Paddington to Bedwyn, Wilts, local service to cross the track on which the high-speed 6.03am Cheltenham to Paddington First Great Western service was approaching Paddington. Signal 109, the one thought to have been involved today, was also at the centre of previous near miss in February 1998 and is known to have been the cause of complaints to Railtrack. The Southall disaster, just a few miles further west from Paddington, led to First Great Western being fined £1.5 million for safety breaches and the setting up of an on-going public inquiry. But rail expert Chris Jackson, deputy editor of Railway Gazette International, said lessons had not been learned because two years had been "wasted" in pursuing court cases. Mr Jackson said: "I am 99% certain that this was an exact repeat of the Southall accident with a train crossing the tracks and another train colliding with it." Southall survivor John Boddy, 57, from Wenvoe, in Cardiff, spoke of his anger that the accident had happened, and claimed the technology existed to prevent such tragedies. He said: "I was absolutely knocked out by it happening again. How much more pain and suffering is there coming out of today?" Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott announced a public inquiry into the crash after visiting the scene. Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "I am absolutely appalled by what is a truly dreadful tragedy." The Queen also sent a message of sympathy. Carriages were turned into an inferno of twisted metal by today's collision at 8.11am and survivors spoke of hearing cries for help from victims trapped in the burning rolling stock. Passengers and staff from a nearby branch of Sainsbury's tried desperately to free people screaming for help from inside the burning carriages. IT consultant David Taylor, 34, described the scene as chaos. "I knew we had hit something very hard but all I could think about was if I would get back home to see my wife and my five-week old baby." Mr Taylor, from Didcot, used to travel first-class but after the Southall rail disaster he decided it was safer to sit in the middle of the train - a decision which he believes may have saved his life today. Mr Taylor added: "When my child was born, I traded in my Fiesta for a Volvo because I thought that was safer. How are we supposed to be safe on trains in the future?" BBC Radio 5 Live executive editor Phil Longman, who was on board one of the trains, said: "There was an initial bang and the train seemed to leap in the air and I thought 'Oh Christ this is it'. "There was another bang and I was flung forward and I saw a piece of wreckage to the side of the window ... I thought the wreckage was going to come through the window." Cleaning supervisor Joe Bannerman was one of the first on the scene with other workers from the nearby Sainsbury's supermarket. Mr Bannerman, 40, from Ladbroke Grove, west London, said: "We put a ladder down the railway bridge and climbed down. "I couldn't believe the scene, I could see people with blood pouring down their faces. Someone was running with their clothes on fire, I could see lots of people were burned badly on their faces and hands. "They were shouting 'help, help, get us out'. I could see one dead body. Some other passengers pulled him out and covered his face." An amateur cameraman recorded the agonised screams of the injured trapped inside the burning carriages of the crash. The shocking footage, shot from a bridge overlooking the scene, showed stunned travellers scrambling from an overturned carriage of the Great Western service as a pall of smoke rose from wreckage behind them. As passengers assisted each other to the trackside, terrified shouts of "help" and "help me" were clearly heard on the soundtrack punctuating the eerie silence of the moments following the crash. A spokesman for the local NHS executive collating the casualty figures said tonight a total of 149 people had been injured, 29 seriously. Among the survivors was author Jilly Cooper, who escaped unhurt by climbing through a broken window from an overturned carriage. Tony Thompson, of British Transport Police, who was travelling on the train following the Great Western service from Cheltenham this morning, showed reporters around the crash scene tonight and warned that the death toll would rise. He said: "We have eight confirmed casualties but there are more bodies on the train. We anticipate that we'll be working through the night to recover those bodies. "The level of devastation is such that it makes it a very difficult and dangerous scene to work. Some carriages are suspended in the air and balanced precariously and there is a risk to rescue workers." The Health and Safety Executive will be urgently seeking to establish the cause of the crash. Transport Minister Lord Macdonald, who visited the crash scene, was asked about a rail system that had seen two major crashes in the last two years. He said: "You're looking at a railway system that has had two of the safest years on record. Inquiries are going on at the moment but I don't want to speculate on the causes." Director of Thames Trains, Terry Worrall, said that its train involved in the accident was one of the most modern in operation on British railways. Mr Worrall said he believed the seven-year-old train had as many as 150 people inside though he could not comment on how many of those had been injured. "I have no reason to think that the condition of the train was in any way contributory to this accident. It's a very modern train with a good safety record." First Great Western managing director Mike Mitchell admitted he would have been "appalled and angry" if he had been a passenger involved. He said: "This has been a dreadful disaster but I won't get into idle speculation about the cause. "We have never brought cost into the issue of safety. We have spent whatever is needed. We have a track record that shows that we do not stint on spending money where it is necessary to deal with safety on the railways." Railtrack chairman Sir Philip Beck, speaking on behalf of the railway industry, said the industry accepted "full responsibility for the dreadful incident". He went on: "Our thoughts are with the relatives and friends of those who have died or those who have been injured in this tragic accident and I would like to assure them that we will all cooperate fully in any public inquiry." end
18.23 1 RAIL Crash Hospitals Nightlead 58 'SERIOUS' AFTER PADDINGTON DISASTER By PA News Reporters
A total of 63 victims of the Paddington train crash were being kept in hospital tonight, 58 of whom had serious injuries, an NHS spokeswoman said. Some 14 of these were either undergoing operations or being treated in intensive care units. All those hurt were adults. The spokeswoman said a total of 150 people had been received by accident and emergency departments at six hospitals, and one minor injuries unit, based around London. It was not clear tonight whether the drivers of either of the two trains involved in the crash were among those admitted to hospital. A British Transport Police spokesman said: "We have an indeterminate number of bodies to identify and are not sure yet of the fate of the drivers." The greatest number of injured, 47, were taken to St Mary's Hospital, which is very near the crash site. Of these, 35 were still being treated this evening, the NHS spokeswoman said, with 26 expected to be held overnight in ordinary wards. A further six were in intensive care beds, and three more in operating theatres. Of the others, nine had been sent home, and three transferred to other hospitals. mf
19.15
1 RAIL Crash 2nd Nightlead
(With pictures from the scene and graphic) 26 KILLED IN RUSH HOUR TRAIN CRASH By PA News Reporters
At least 26 people were tonight confirmed dead and over 100 more were injured after two packed commuter trains collided near London’s Paddington Station at the height of the morning rush hour. Scotland Yard said the revised figure included the eight already known to have died. A spokesman said: “We do not know at this stage if there are more bodies remaining in the wreckage.” The bulk of the fatalities were understood to have been already dead when they were removed from the mangled carriages this afternoon by emergency services. All those killed were adults, but no identities could be given. A total of 25 people were known to be seriously injured following the crash and resultant fire with 97 minor injuries and 41 walking wounded. mf
22.05 1 RAIL Crash 3rd Nightlead RAIL DISASTER DEATH TOLL ‘COULD EXCEED CLAPHAM’ By PA News Reporters
The worst rail disaster in more than a decade was tonight in prospect as emergency services admitted they feared many more bodies could be trapped in the mangled debris of the Paddington crash. With a death toll of 26 already confirmed from the two packed trains which collided at the height of this morning’s rush hour, police warned the final toll could exceed that of the 1988 Clapham disaster in which 35 died.

Major queue...24 items at 7.03
SIGNAL........................Signal 109 (history and description of vital signal)
FACT............................What time, what trains
PCSAFE........................Profits before safety (outrage at private firms)
IKHEADS......................Millionaire bosses (outrage)
SIG..................................Copycat near-miss (year ago)
CPJILLY.........................Jilly Cooper: Thought I was dead
SUNTEAM....................Reporting Team
KLBAILEY.....................Prayed her hell would end
DGCRASH.....................Southall fury (anger of Southall campaigners)
SHTRACK.....................Near head-on (earlier incident)
NPSAIN..........................Sainsbury emergency room
CRWIT9.........................I won't see my kids again
CRWIT7.........................Neighbours
ATP................................Warning systems
NPFIRS...........................Inferno horrors: I was at Southall (reporter recalls)
KLSOUTH.....................Rail expert
SWTRAIN.....................Missed it by nine minutes
MPTRAIN......................Looked like a burning comet
PAMITCH......................GWR boss: I'd be angry
CRWIT2..........................Hell on earth
CRWIT...........................I prayed don't let me die
SAFE..............................Action not words (Prescott)
NNCAS13......................Docklands chaos (traffic etc)
PASAFE.........................Southall relived