Survivors remember Clapham Junction rail disaster

Basingstoke Gazette: The aftermath of the Clapham rail crash in which 35 people died The aftermath of the Clapham rail crash in which 35 people died

SURVIVORS attended a small memorial service this morning to mark the 25 th anniversary of the Clapham Junction rail disaster.

A total of 35 people died and more than five people were injured in the three-train crash, which took place at 8.13am on December 12, 1988.

Among the dead were Basingstoke residents Arthur Creech, 48, a train driver from Winklebury, and 30-year-old newly-wed Paul Hadfield, from Chineham.

One train carrying 468 passengers ploughed into the back of another loaded with more than 900. A third train then rammed the wreckage, near to the country’s busiest railway junction.

Today survivors observed a two-minute silence at the crash memorial site close to the scene of the accident.

It was conducted by the Reverend Canon Hilary Jackson, head of chaplaincy at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London – the hospital where many of the injured were taken.

Speaking before this morning’s service, Rail Minister Baroness Kramer said: “Important lessons have been learnt since then and Britain today has one of the safest rail networks in the world. However, we must never become complacent. We must always make sure that safety remains the number one priority on our railways.

“Once again, we send our condolences and sympathy to those friends and family who will have particualry difficult memories on this occasion.”

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