Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Rail employee relives train crash

The scene of the train crash at Potters Bar rail station
The scene of the train crash at Potters Bar rail station

A driver said: "I have lost everything... we are off the rails" moments after a train ran over faulty points as it approached a station, an inquest has heard.

Signal inspector Roger Badger, who was travelling in the driver's cab, told the inquest into the Potters Bar rail crash there had been a "violent jolt" as the train approached the station.

Mr Badger was speaking as the inquest - in Letchworth, Hertfordshire - began hearing evidence about the accident on May 10, 2002.

Mr Badger said he had been on the 12.45pm train - which was travelling from King's Cross to King's Lynn, Norfolk - as a "familiarisation" exercise. He said all was normal until the train approached the station at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, at about 1pm.

"The train jolted. It then paused for a second or so. Then there was another violent jolt," said Mr Badger.

"(The driver) said: 'I have lost everything...' He said: 'We are off the rails'."

Six passengers - Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Jonael Schickler, Alexander Ogunwusi, Chia Hsin Lin and Chia Chin Wu - and pedestrian Agnes Quinlivan died and more than 70 people were hurt as a result of the crash.

Mr Badger said after jolting the train automatically went into "full emergency brake application". He said he walked ahead to warn on-coming trains then saw that the last of the train's four carriages had become detached.

Mr Badger told jurors: "I saw the fourth carriage across the station amongst a tangle of overhead wires."

Judge Michael Findlay Baker QC, sitting as a deputy coroner, has told jurors that the crash was caused by a faulty set of points south of Potters Bar station. He said driver Gordon Gibson could not be blamed.

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