More bodies removed from train wreckage

Thursday, March 01, 2001
Rescue workers are recovering six bodies from the tangled wreckage of the Selby train disaster.

Heavy lifting gear is being used to remove the twisted carriages, 24 hours after the crash that killed 13 people and injured 70.

Superintendent Tony Thompson of British Transport Police, said there could be other bodies hidden in the wreckage.

He said: "Today we will be making attempts to recover the six or so bodies still trapped in the carriages. We know where they are but some are in very difficult positions and we may require specialist equipment to help us free them.

"Only after all the bodies have been removed will the large crane be used to lift up the carriages and it is then when we may find if there are any more bodies that we do not yet know of."

He said the driver of the Land Rover had been co-operating with the police investigation but had been "devastated" by the accident.

"He is co-operating as well as he can. Clearly he is quite distraught at what happened but relieved that he managed to escape the accident."

He said the recovery operation was likely to take several days and said efforts were now under way to identify those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Yesterday's crash was believed to have been sparked by a burst tyre, which sent a Land Rover towing a car on a trailer careering off the M62 and down an embankment, where it stopped on the East Coast main line.

As the driver frantically called police on his mobile phone, the 4.45am Newcastle-to-London GNER train ploughed into the vehicle before smashing almost head-on into a freight train loaded with 1,000 tonnes of coal.

The Land Rover driver, 36-year-old Gary Hart, from Lincolnshire, who was delivering a car to Manchester, escaped with whiplash injuries.