‘Up to a dozen injured’ after two trains crash near Salisbury

, ‘Up to a dozen injured’ after two trains crash near Salisbury, The Evepost BBC News
, ‘Up to a dozen injured’ after two trains crash near Salisbury, The Evepost BBC News

Two trains crashed in a tunnel on Sunday night leaving up to a dozen passengers injured.

A critical incident was declared at the accident near Salisbury station and the line was closed as passengers were evacuated from both vehicles. 

An emergency casualty centre was set up in a nearby church in the Wiltshire city.

A Network Rail spokesman said there were “reports of injuries”, with some eye-witnesses later claiming they had seen “walking wounded”. It is believed many of the injuries are minor.

British Transport Police later confirmed there had been no fatalities. 

The collision happened around 7pm when the rear carriage of the 17.08 Great Western Railway (GWR) service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads derailed after hitting an object on its approach to Salisbury station. It is believed the train had just left Fisherton Tunnel.

It is not known what the obstruction was and whether it had got on the tracks accidentally or been placed there.

Signalling was “knocked out” shortly before the 17.20, and the South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Honiton collided with the Bristol train some minutes later. 

Pictures posted on social media appeared to show one train partially inside and outside the tunnel, with a carriage tilting on its side. 

The driver, who became trapped after the collision, was released from his cab shortly after 9pm and taken to hospital.

Peter Golden, 52, from Laverstock, near the crash site, said: “It sounded like something big collapsing – the sound of things falling into each other.

“With the windy day we’ve had I first thought it was a big gust of wind that has knocked something heavy over.”

, ‘Up to a dozen injured’ after two trains crash near Salisbury, The Evepost BBC News

He added: “Friends nearer have mentioned passengers being guided up to the ambulances on London Road, so walking which is good.”

Wiltshire Police confirmed it was responding to the crash close to London Road, Salisbury. “We are currently at the scene of a train crash involving two trains between Andover and Salisbury,” it said. 

Fifty firefighters from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were also at the scene. The service called in support from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and South Western Fire and Rescue Service.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “At around 7pm this evening, the rear carriage of the 17.08 Great Western Railway service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads derailed after striking an object on its approach to Salisbury station.

“The derailment knocked out all of the signalling in the area. Subsequently, the 17.20 South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Honiton then collided with the Bristol train.

“There are reports of injuries and the emergency services are on site along with railway first responders.”

The Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service said: “We are currently at the scene of a train crash near London Rd, Salisbury. Approx 50 firefighters from both Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service & Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service [are] at this major incident.”

British Transport Police said: “We are currently responding to an incident at Fisherton Tunnel, Salisbury. Officers were called at 6.46pm this evening following reports a train derailed. We are on scene alongside paramedics and the fire brigade.”

Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said: “We will have to await further details, but this is a very sobering reminder about why safety on our railways is always paramount.

“The thoughts of our entire union are with the loved ones of everyone caught up in what may well turn out to be a tragic event.

“No doubt that over the coming days and weeks we will find out why this accident happened. A full investigation will now need to follow.”