Emergency services scrambled to respond to a collision of two trains near Salisbury, England on Sunday night, in a critical incident that left one train carriage derailed.
About 50 firefighters from Dorset and Wiltshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and South Western fire and rescue services are at the scene, which is close to London Road in Salisbury, along with Wiltshire police and staff from the company responsible for rail infrastructure in Britain, Network Rail.
The British Transport Police (BTP) said: "There have been no fatalities, however a number of people have been injured.
“Most of these people are walking wounded however a small number, including the driver, have been taken to hospital where their injuries are being assessed.
“A major incident has been declared and this has been a large scale, multi-agency response working closely alongside our colleagues in Wiltshire. We will remain on scene throughout the night working to establish the full circumstances of how this incident came to happen.”
Dimitri Popa (17) was on the first train carriage travelling from London Waterloo. "It all happened very fast. There was a big crash, then I saw flames," he said.
“The carriage was 45 degrees to the right. We didn’t know where we were or anything, we were very shocked.”
Morgan Harris (20) travelling on the same train, was thrown from his seat. “It was all going along normally then all of a sudden there was a massive bang and all of the lights went out,” he said.
“There [WERE]sparks and flames from where we had come off the track. There was a load of ash coming from outside. Our train was on its side. I was thrown out of my seat and I banged around the table.”
Grant Shapps, transport secretary for the British government, said investigations into the crash would be undertaken in order to help prevent similar "serious" incidents in future.
The BTP said officers were called at 6.46pm and responded to an incident at Fisherton Tunnel, Salisbury. Citing a Network Rail spokesperson, PA reported that shortly before 7pm the rear carriage of a GWR train struck an object on its approach to Salisbury station and came off the tracks.
“The derailment knocked out all of the signalling in the area,” the Network Rail spokesperson added. “Subsequently, the 17.20 South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Honiton then collided with the Bristol train.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association general secretary, Manuel Cortes, 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.”
A Great Western Railway spokesperson said: "Emergency services are responding to an incident at Fisherton Tunnel near Salisbury station, involving the 17.08 GWR service between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Temple Meads and the 17.20 SWR services from London Waterloo to Honiton."
“The line is closed as they carry out their work, and we appreciate our customers’ patience as we are doing all we can to help as they respond to the incident.” – Guardian