ScotRail train derails near Aberdeen sparking emergency response

‘Landslip’ caused ScotRail crash: Track operator tweeted that ‘services can’t operate due to flooded line’ minutes after train derailed killing one and causing serious injuries

  • Train came off the tracks at 9.40am close to old Carmont railway station, near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire
  • Class 43 Inter7City train from Aberdeen to Glasgow had three crew members and six passengers on board
  • Suspected cause was a landslip and ScotRail train involved was made up of a locomotive and four carriages
  • Dramatic video footage shows smoke billowing from the area with 30 emergency vehicles sent to the scene

At least one person is feared dead after a ScotRail passenger train derailed and crashed down an embankment near Aberdeen in an area hit by major flooding this morning amid reports of further ‘serious injuries’. 

The train came off the tracks on the line at 9.40am today close to the old Carmont railway station, near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Thirty emergency vehicles and an air ambulance were sent to the scene.  

It has been claimed the Class 43 Inter7City train had three crew members and six passengers on board, and it was the 6.38am departure from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street, which called at Stonehaven at 6.53am.

It comes after severe flooding in the area overnight which led to flash flooding in Aberdeen and widespread disruption across the ScotRail network following thunderstorms. Network Rail tweeted a video filmed in the same area just minutes after the incident at 9.49am, showing flooding on the line and saying that trains could not run. 

Rail industry sources said the suspected cause was a landslip. The train involved was made up of a locomotive and four carriages. It is understood that the locomotive and three carriages derailed, and slid down the embankment.

At least one person has died according to unconfirmed reports, sources said. Dramatic video footage showed smoke billowing from the area with at least seven ambulances on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines.

The RMT union confirmed it was now a ‘rescue operation’ and nearby hospital Aberdeen Royal Infirmary reported a major incident, while local MP Andrew Bowie said the flooding situation had been ‘really bad’ in the area. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today: ‘I am saddened to learn of the very serious incident in Aberdeenshire and my thoughts are with all of those affected. My thanks to the emergency services at the scene.’

Smoke is billowing from the area after the train came off the tracks at 10am this morning close to the old Carmont railway station, near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire

Stonehaven is served by ScotRail trains heading north to Aberdeen and south to Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is also a calling point between Montrose and Inverurie.

Richard Clinnick, the news editor of Rail magazine, tweeted: ‘The front power car and all four of ScotRail set HA22 went down the embankment near Stonehaven.

Network Rail posts video of landslip close to the scene of the train crash around the same time

Video posted to social media by Network Rail Scotland earlier today showed a landslip on the track at Carmont, believed to be close to the scene of the crash.

It is unclear whether the landslip was directly related to the derailment.

Network Rail tweeted at 9.49am: ‘At Carmont, we’ve had reports of a landslip, which means services can’t operate between Dundee & Aberdeen.’

Police had said reports of the train derailment were first received at 9.40am.

‘The ScotRail IC7 set was returning north on the Down Main having encountered a landslip further south when the accident happened.

‘Incident log suggests three crew members and six passengers on board. At least one Mk 3 was on fire.’

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie said the local hospital had declared a major incident.

He said: ‘It’s obviously a terrible situation, a train derailment, the emergency services are on the scene.

‘I’ve already spoken to Grant Shapps, who has spoken to Network Rail and the British Transport Police who are obviously investigating and assisting.

‘I am aware that Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has declared a major incident.’ 

Mr Bowie said he had been in Stonehaven surveying the flood damage earlier today.

He said: ‘The situation was really bad this morning, the River Carron, the main river which flows through it, had burst its banks and the heavy rain had caused flooding in the centre of Stonehaven and lots of the side streets leading off it.

‘Luckily, the water receded incredibly quickly and the river has peaked and is going down.’

‘Obviously none of us expected there to be such a serious incident as a rail derailment at the same time, but it just goes to show how damaging the bad weather can be.’

He added: ‘I don’t think speculation is helpful at this stage. We obviously don’t know why the derailment took place, but obviously we have suffered terrible weather here.’

Speaking before First Minister’s Questions today, Nicola Sturgeon said a major incident has been declared over the Stonehaven train incident.

The Scottish First Minister said that, although ‘details are still emerging’, there are ‘early reports of serious injuries’.

‘My immediate thoughts and the thoughts of those across the chamber are with all those involved.’

The Scottish Government’s resilience room is also now operational, and the First Minister said she will convene a meeting this afternoon. 

Scottish Conservative leader in Holyrood Ruth Davidson also expressed her party’s sympathies with those involved in the derailment.

She said: ‘May I add the thoughts of my party to those already been expressed regarding the incident in Stonehaven today.

‘It is clear that this incident is serious and it will have affected a number of families across Scotland.

Speaking before First Minister’s Questions today, Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said a major incident has been declared

The incident happened on the Dundee-Aberdeen line at about 10am this morning

At least seven ambulances were on the scene alongside police cars and fire engines

‘We think of them at this time and also those emergency workers who are currently in attendance.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘My thoughts are with everyone involved in the serious incident in Aberdeenshire. Thank you to all the emergency services.’

Mick Lynch, the assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: ‘RMT is aware of the major incident at Stonehaven and our reps are liaising directly at senior level with both Scotrail and Network Rail.

‘Our priority at this time is to support our members, their colleagues and their families and to do all that we can to assist the rescue operation which RMT members are currently involved in.

‘The facts behind this incident will need to be established in due course but at this stage we are focused on support and assistance and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.’

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association general secretary Manuel Cortes said, ‘Our thoughts are with those caught up in this derailment, their loved ones and the emergency services and our members who are now involved in a rescue operation.

Flooding is pictured on a road in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, this morning, near to where the ScotRail train derailed

Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire was hit by major flooding today following severe thunderstorms overnight 

‘Our union has had concerns about the amount of hours that some of our members who maintain have been doing. However, it’s far too early to speculate whether this may have been a contributing factor to this morning’s incident.’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: ‘Just met urgently with Network Rail for a briefing on Stonehaven derailment.

‘British Transport Police and Network Rail are on location, along with rail workers who were nearby. The UK Government will provide every support. My thoughts are with those involved and their families.’

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We currently have multiple resources in attendance at a train derailment near Stonehaven, including six ambulances, our special operations response teams, air ambulance, patient transport vehicles and the Scotstar emergency service. More information will follow when we have it.’

Rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) sent an inspector, with a spokesman saying: ‘We’re aware of an incident involving a train derailment near Stonehaven.

‘Emergency services are in attendance and an ORR inspector will be attending.

Flooding at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire this morning following severe thunderstorms, near where the train derailed

A flooded street in Stonehaven is pictured this morning on the same day of the train derailment nearby

‘We will work with Rail Accident Investigation Branch, British Transport Police and the emergency services to investigate the full circumstances of what has happened.’ 

A British Transport Police spokesman said: ‘We’re currently responding to an incident on the line in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where a train has derailed.

‘Officers were called to the scene at 9.43am and remain there alongside paramedics and the fire brigade.’

A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘A report was received of a train having derailed near Stonehaven at 9.40am on Wednesday, August 12.

‘Emergency services are currently in attendance and the incident is ongoing.’

A ScotRail spokesman said: ‘We’re assisting the emergency services with an incident near Stonehaven, and will provide more information when available.’

A Network Rail spokesman said: ‘We are working alongside the emergency services to respond to an incident involving a train near Stonehaven.

‘It is too early to confirm the exact nature and severity of the incident and more details will be made available once known.’

Earlier, ScotRail posted a message on Twitter shortly after 6.30am warning that services across Scotland would be disrupted due to ‘extremely heavy rain flooding’.

A video shared on Facebook at 7.30am showed heavy flooding in Stonehaven.

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