[24], Testing was mandated on British Rail signalling work[25] and the hours of work of employees involved in safety critical work was limited. Another 415 sustained minor injuries. New wiring had been installed, but the old wiring had been left in place and not adequately secured. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. One of those attending today was 71-year-old chartered accountant George Gillon, from London. However, we must never become complacent. [29], A memorial marking the location of the crash site is atop the cutting above the railway on Spencer Park, Battersea. Wiltshire. [14] The re-signalling project had been planned assuming more people were available, but employees felt that the programme was inflexible and that they were under pressure to get the work done. A total of 35 people died in the collision, while 484 were injured.[1]. At Clapham today, he said: "I heard the crash was near Spencer Park (where the memorial site is) and I thought 'That's very close to Clapham Junction'. [7], Pupils and teachers from the adjacent Emanuel School, who were first on the scene of the disaster,[8] were later commended for their service by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He lived with his fiancee in Fulham, south-west London. On the morning of 12 December 1988, a crowded passenger train crashed into the rear of another train that had stopped at a signal just south of Clapham Junction railway station in London, and subsequently sideswiped an empty train travelling in the opposite direction. The primary cause of the crash was incorrect wiring work during a stage of the Waterloo Area Resignalling Scheme (WARS); this work left a redundant wire connected at one end, and bare at the other. south-east London. The driver of a fourth train, coasting with no traction current, saw the other trains and managed to come to a stop behind the other two and the signal that should have protected them, which was showing a yellow "proceed with caution" aspect instead of a red "danger" aspect. The signalman immediately switched all the signals he could to 'danger', and signalled to the adjacent signal boxes he had an obstruction on the line. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. London. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? An independent inquiry chaired by Anthony Hidden, QC found that the signalling technician responsible had not been told that his working practices were wrong, and his work had not been inspected by an independent person. However he had no control over automatic signals, and was not able to stop the fourth train. In that incident, a pair of redundant points had been left in an unsafe condition and undetectable by the signalling system.

Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Canon Johnson led the mourners in reciting the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23 and her prayers included mention of the pupils of nearby Emanuel School, who had rushed to help treat the injured from the crash. Juliet Groves, 27, an accountant from Shepherd's Bush, west London. On 12 December 1988 the 07:18 from Basingstoke to London Waterloo, a crowded 12 car train made up of four-car 4VEP electric multiple units 3033, 3119 and 3005, was approaching Clapham Junction when the driver saw the signal ahead of him change from green ("proceed") to red ("danger").

His eventual report included 93 recommendations, for changes to the working practices of both British Rail and the emergency services.[13]. Standing by the memorial stone high above the railway line, Mr Gillon said: "I was one of the lucky ones. John Northcott, 24, a graduate working in the IT industry, of Leyton, east London. [18] There had been inadequate training, assessment, supervision and testing and, with a lack of understanding of the risks of signalling failure, these were not monitored effectively. Brian Cooper, 52, a grandfather and father of three, from Hayes, west London, was the driver of the Great Western express train. Plasterer Delroy Manning, 39, born in Jamaica, of Lewisham, south east London. Mr Hodder had qualified to drive for the one week before the crash. Roger Brown, 44, of Isle of Dogs, east London, a software engineer. One of the wreaths laid at the foot of the memorial stone was from Network Rail, the body which took over responsibility for rail infrastructure in 2001. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. London.

Hidden was critical of the health and safety culture within British Rail at the time, and his recommendations included ensuring that work was independently inspected and that a senior project manager be made responsible for all aspects of any major, safety-critical project such as re-signalling work. Shortly after 08:10, the following train, t… The married father-of-two was described as "extremely successful, very intelligent", who would always do what he could do help people. A number of my friends on that train were killed.". Alan Stewart, 28, an accountant from Auckland in New Zealand.

British Rail was fined £250,000 for violations of health and safety law in connection with the accident. John Northcott, 24, a graduate working in the IT industry, of Leyton, east London. If the Basingstoke train had carried on to the signal following the next signal, the crash would not have happened because the Bournemouth train would have stopped at the signal where the crash occurred. He created the new human rights and equality commission in the province. He had been returning home for the birthday of one of his two young sons. lived with his girlfriend in Forest Hill, south-east London. [5], The driver of the Basingstoke train was off his train and standing by the line-side telephone when his train was pushed forward several feet by the collision. Several victims of the Clapham Rail Disaster were pictured in the news the following day. He was married with two children. Martin King, a company dicrector, was identified from dental records. What was the Clapham Junction rail crash and how many people died? Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Statistician Shaun Donoghue, 45, of New Cross, south east On the morning of December 12, 1988, a train crash near Clapham Junction in South London, involving three trains carrying 1,500 passengers between them, killed 35 people and injured almost 500 more. He picked up the receiver and spoke to the signalman, informing him of the collision and asking him to call the emergency services. Signal technicians needed to attend refresher courses every five years, and testers needed to be trained and certified. [11], An independent inquiry was chaired by Anthony Hidden, QC for the Department for Transport. Huddled against the cold and with heads bowed, a small congregation remembered the Clapham rail crash exactly 25 years after it claimed 35 lives. The signalling technician who had done the work had not cut back, insulated, nor tied back the loose wire and his work had not been supervised, nor inspected by an independent person as was required. He then called the Clapham Junction station manager and asked him to call the emergency services.

Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. [31], In 2017, a Rail Accident Investigation Branch report into a serious irregularity at Cardiff Central on 29 December 2016 revealed that some of the lessons from the Clapham Junction accident appeared to have been forgotten. Excessive working hours, cancellation of route-proving trains and lack of detailed planning were identified as contributory factors to the incident. She had become engaged to be married in the summer. Railway historian Adrian Vaughan suggests this may not be the best way of handling faulty signals.

Act 1974,[28] there was no prosecution for manslaughter. Andrew Thompson, a 52-year-old father-of-four who was a prominent member of his local church The alertness of a driver prevented a serious accident. Sam Di Lieto, 24, of Russell Square, Bloomsbury, central London. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. He was told there was nothing wrong with the signal. company, who described him as "enthusiastic and dedicated", two months before the crash. One former driver, Mick Withey, 71, from Teddington, south west London, was on holiday on the day of the crash but remembers hearing the news of the accident.

[3][4], As a result of the collisions, 35 people died, and 69 were seriously injured. David Brand Roberts, 35, of Swindon, [17] In particular, a wire count that would have identified that a wire had not been removed was not carried out. Shortly after 08:10,[2][3] the following train, the 06:30 from Bournemouth, made up of 4REP unit 2003 and 4TC units 8027 and 8015, collided with the Basingstoke train.

Thirty-five people were killed and 484 others suffered injuries in the crash shortly after 8am on Monday, December 12 1988. It was at 8.13am on December 12 1988 that the devastating three-train collision happened close to Clapham Junction station in south London. [22] Cab radios, linking driver and signalman, were recommended[23] and to begin installing public address system on existing trains that were not expected to be withdrawn within five years. Flashback to 12 December 1988: the scene at the Clapham rail disaster, survivors today attended a simple service of remembrance, Clapham Junction tragedy: survivors and families remember 25 years on, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. [26] Although British Rail was fined £250,000 (equivalent to £541,000 in 2019[27]) for breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. [19], Critical of the health and safety culture within British Rail at the time,[19] Hidden recommended that unused signal wires needed to be cut back and insulated, and that a testing plan be in place, with the inspection and testing being done by an independent person. Matthew Macaulay, 26, an information technician from New Zealand living in Clapham, south London, identified by a tattoo on his back. Today, at that exact same time, survivors observed a two-minute silence at the crash memorial site close to the scene of the accident. Green, north London. [11] Work associated with the Waterloo Area Resignalling Scheme meant new wiring had been installed,[12] but the old wiring had been left connected at one end, and loose and uninsulated at the other. Juliet Groves, 27, an accountant from Shepherd's Bush, west London.

He was told there was nothing wrong with the signal. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium.

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