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Passengers injured after two trains collide in ‘major incident’ near Salisbury station

Written by on 31 October 2021

A number of people have been injured after two trains collided in a “major incident” near Salisbury station.

No one has died, British Transport Police said, adding that its officers were called to Fisherton Tunnel at 6.46pm on Sunday.

One of the train drivers was trapped in his cab but has since been freed and taken to hospital. He is not seriously injured, the PA news agency reported.

A casualty centre has been set up at St Mark's Church in Salisbury. Pic: Paul Sample Image: A casualty centre has been set up at St Mark’s Church in Salisbury. Pic: Paul Sample

One carriage derailed. All those on board have been evacuated.

A passenger, Demitri, told Sky News he was “pretty scared” as he “heard a big crash” and “saw flames”.

He added: “After that the lights went out and the position of the train was like 45 degrees tilted to the right.”

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service described it as a “major incident” and said 50 firefighters had been sent to the scene.

Local resident Tamar Vellacott, 25, said the collision created a “long rumbling sound like thunder”.

Sky News correspondent Alex Rossi said trees had been blown over by “strong autumnal winds”.

Network Rail said the rear carriage of the 17.08 Great Western Railway service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads “derailed after striking an object on its approach to Salisbury station”.

It added: “The derailment knocked out all of the signalling in the area. Subsequently, the 17.20 South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Honiton then collided with the Bristol train.

“There are reports of injuries and the emergency services are on site along with railway first responders.”

A casualty centre has been set up at St Mark’s Church on St Mark’s Avenue in Salisbury.

Alex Rossi described the emergency services’ response as “significant”.

“At least five fire engines and as many as 10 ambulances are on the scene,” he added.

“Overhead, the sound of a police helicopter and a drone can be heard, as the emergency services survey the area for damage.”

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said it was “deploying inspectors to the site”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: “We need to understand how this happened to prevent in the future.”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said 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”.

He added: “We will have to await further details, but this is a very sobering reminder about why safety on our railways is always paramount.”