Investigation into Stonehaven rail crash begins as first two victims named

A formal investigation has begun into the Stonehaven rail crash that took three lives and left six people injured.

A major incident was declared on Wednesday morning when the 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail train derailed, before bursting into flames following a night of torrential rain in Aberdeenshire.

Officials pledged to get to the bottom of the tragedy on Wednesday evening, as the first two victims were named locally as driver Brett McCullough and conductor Donald Dinnie.

Addressing media, BTP chief inspector Brian McAleese said an investigation would be directed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

He added they ‘will also be working closely with them along with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and Office of Road and Rail to establish the full circumstances of how this train came to derail’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday investigators would work to ‘make sure that nothing like this happens again’.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: ‘One of the reasons that this accident is so shocking is of course that this type of accident on our railways is thankfully so rare.

‘But our thoughts are very much with those who’ve lost their lives, their families and of course those who’ve been injured in the derailment.

‘I’ve talked to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about what has happened and clearly the most important thing now is that the British Transport Police, who are in charge of the investigation, find out exactly what happened, and that we all work together with Network Rail, with everybody else who’s responsible to make sure that nothing like this happens again.’

Ms Stugeon offered her ‘deepest condolences’ to the ‘loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident’ last night.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government’s Michael Matheson will both visit the area on Thursday and meet members of the emergency services who helped in the incident.

Mr Shapps has promised ‘lessons will be learned from this tragic incident’ after the investigation is carried out.

He said: ‘I express my deepest condolences to the friends and families of those affected in the tragic incident near Stonehaven.

‘My department is in close contact with all relevant parties, including our counterparts in the Scottish Government, to provide any support that is required.

‘I want to pay tribute to the emergency services and rail workers, who have responded so quickly in these distressing circumstances.

‘The safety of passengers and staff is and has always been our upmost priority and we will ensure that lessons are learned from this tragic incident once the Rail Accident Investigation Branch has carried out its investigation.’

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