Fatal Crash Inquiry Slams British Rail Industry
The British rail industry came in for blistering criticism on Tuesday from an official public inquiry into the 1999 Paddington rail crash in London, which left 31 people dead.
Railtrack, the privatised company responsible for track and signals, was accused of "lamentable failure" in a report by the chairman of the government-sponsored inquiry, Lord Douglas Cullen.
The 1999 tragedy happened when a Thames Trains suburban service failed to stop at a red danger signal just outside Paddington station in west London and crashed head-on into a city-bound Great Western express.
Cullen accused Railtrack of failing to respond to two earlier instances when trains went through red signals before the accident on October 5, 1999.
A separate report into the crash said last year that seven other trains had gone through the same red signal as the Thames train in the five years before the Paddington tragedy.
The Cullen inquiry also criticized Thames Trains, whose 31-year-old driver Michael Hodder was killed in the tragedy – LONDON (AFP)