The 1988 Clapham Rail crash

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  xileffilex 2 years ago.

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  • #9159

    xileffilex
    Participant

    Rescued from the middle of the Hillsborough football thread (my fault) I thought this event evinced several by now familiar “quotations” to make me think that all is not what it seemed.

    Small non-footie rabbit hole:
    THere is a serious paucity of images of the Clapham Rail crash
    They’re all here:

    The crash site was easily sealed off, quite secluded really.

    It was a surreal sight, like a massive film set.
    Ooops…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-25331840

    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/10872278._I_will_never_forget____remembering_the_Clapham_rail_disaster_25_years_on/

    Dec 1: “because of the previous night’s disruption. Mark I carriages have to be used instead of the newer, safer Mark III.”

    Twenty-two of the people killed were from Dorset and the New Forest.

    “Up to 35 people have died” [spot on…]

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/12/newsid_2547000/2547561.stm

    Is there a list of names? Some are in the Bouremouth artice, but I can’t find one for the moment.

    Now for some new material:
    First off the offcial report.
    http://www.weathercharts.org/railway/Clapham_Junction_Collision_1988.pdf

    Now the search for witnesses who came out for 25th anniversary media coverage.
    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/3968925.Clapham_Rail_Disaster__Looking_back_at_a_tragic_day/

    Alison Clark, the last person to be found alive.

    FROM the scars on her wrist and ankle, Alison Clark knows she was badly trapped in one of the trains involved in the Clapham rail disaster.

    But 20 years on she’s still not entirely sure what happened in the horrific accident which killed 35 people.

    “I’d been commuting for six months and I don’t remember any of it,” said Alison, from Bransgore.
    “The three people sat with me died. I have no idea if they were friends of mine, it’s just gone, which I’m really grateful for, because who knows what nightmares I could have.”
    Alison was unconscious for three weeks, had two stomach operations, extensive plastic surgery on her face and three months of physiotherapy.Alison, 44, is attending a memorial service at Clapham’s Emmanuel School, near where the accident happened, tomorrow.

    I’ll return to the Emmanuel School later…

    Lee [Middleton], 59, lived in Lymington and commuted on the Brockenhurst to Waterloo train to his civil servant job.
    “That day I only just got that train. It would have been a lot different if I’d caught the next one.
    “I fractured my leg, but I really thought I was a goner because part of the carriage ceiling came down and pinned me by the neck.
    “The firemen managed to take the pressure off and get it off my neck. They took me out an hour or so later.”
    While he waited, Lee, now living in Winchester, was only able to look up at the hole in the carriage roof.
    “It was a dry, sunny day. I heard noises, but didn’t see anything, so I was lucky in that I didn’t suffer the nightmares that a lot of people did.”
    Lee needed a bone graft and was off work for nine months. He was one of the lucky ones.
    “We were in the back of the front carriage – 29 people died in that carriage and six in the second carriage. Two people sat behind us passed away and the guy opposite passed away

    Chris Owens, from Wareham, walked away from the accident uninjured.
    Now Borough of Poole’s head of customer services and communications, Chris was working for Lloyds Bank at London Bridge and was a passenger on the Basingstoke train.
    “Like most commuters we used to go to the same spot on the platform every morning. The really bizarre thing, and I really don’t understand why we did this, that morning we decided to go to the front of the train.
    “Because of that, we avoided a lot of the carnage. We were very close to Clapham station and there was a bridge a bit further down which shielded the full impact of the crash.
    “We were thrown out of our seats, but had no appreciation of the scale of it. One of my friends stayed in the same carriage and came to work covered in blood later that day.

    Really?

    #9160
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    Health and Safety.

    DalTampra

    #9164

    xileffilex
    Participant

    Emanuel School – correct spelling – played a key role.
    From the report p 50
    One of the first to the scene was a Mr George Cannon who heard a “tremendous bang” in the staff room.[no mention of other teachers] who ran to the edge of the bridge and jumped over the parapet…no worry about 750V DC live rails or anything like that…he climbed into the third carriage of the Poole train with the brake van.The rescue services, he said, arrived in three minutes “They were marvellous. [clue….]…”the whole organisation seemed very smooth and efficient”
    Astonishingly, Mr Cannon seems to make no other media appearance for such a hero.
    The then headmaster died just three years ago
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01902/thomson_1902691b.jpg
    Peter Thomson, latterly the head of the Harrodian prep school in Barnes

    Thomson led by example, marshalling the entire school to be first on the scene in the rescue efforts; these ranged from providing cups of tea for survivors, to cutting loose the injured and the dying. Mrs Thatcher later praised the pupils as a credit to the nation’s youth at Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8534089/Peter-Thomson.html

    More witnesses from the school emerged in 2013

    Speaking to the Wandsworth Borough News following the crash Emanuel School pupil 18-year-old Simon Murie, who was one of the first at the scene, said: “The first thing I saw was one man who was obviously dead.
    “Both his legs had been taken right off.
    “There were at least four or five other bodies lying in the space between the two trains.
    “We tried to pull away heavy wreckage burying some of the people, but one man just appeared to have the whole train on him.”

    There must have been blood everywhere…but no mention of it.
    http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/10872484.print/

    Simon Murie now runs a swimming activity tourist venture in Brighton.
    http://www.swimtrek.com/Simon-Murie
    https://www.facebook.com/simon.murie

    Graduated from @emanuel#
    1989
    Secondary school

    http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/3980762.print/
    16 December 2008

    wo decades after the Clapham rail disaster, pupils at Emanuel School joined survivors in a memorial service on Friday.
    Many of the 130 injured were rescued from the wreckage by teachers and pupils at the time and taken up to the school for treatment.
    During the service pupils sang remembrance songs and visitors laid flowers on a stone memorial near the tracks.
    Mark Hanley-Browne, headteacher, said: “The pupils and staff of the school were heavily involved in the rescue effort twenty years ago. It is important that we take this opportunity to look back and reflect – and also to gain the strength to look forward.”
    The crash, on December 12, 1988, happened at 8.15 in the morning just outside Clapham Junction leaving 35 dead. A train from Bournemouth ran into the back of a train from Basingstoke and then an empty train from London ploughed into the wreckage.
    Simon Gregory, now head of lower school, was on his way to work when he saw streams of people walking along the tracks.
    He said: “We spent most of the morning looking after the injured, who were dazed and confused. Our minibuses were used as well as the ambulances to ferry people to hospital.
    “Lots of people where trying to ring in. My parents rang in too. No-one knew which train it was.”
    Meanwhile staff and pupils ran down the embankment and risked their own lives to help the injured.
    One boy, Terry Stoppani, was celebrating his 12th birthday and was small enough to crawl into the wreckage and pull people out.
    Others who helped included Peter Pantechi, 14, prefect Simon Murie and head boy Mark Ellis, both 18.
    Mr Gregory added: “They showed incredible heroism. They didn’t think about it, they just got on with it.
    “It’s part of the school’s history, and while it’s not something we’d like repeated, we are proud of the way the children behaved.”
    Most of the pupils were sent home, but a sombre carol service went ahead as planned in the evening.
    An inquiry showed the crash resulted from signalling failures, leading to a major overhaul in safety procedures at British Rail.


    Ellis (L) Murie (R)

    #9167
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    Emanuel School

    eman

    school

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_School
    http://www.emanuel.org.uk/

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Emanuel+School/@51.456467,-0.173084,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x21ec03463031014e

    So this classic old school founded by Lady Dacre and Elizabeth I in 1594, played a starring role in this drama.

    The school gained national attention in December 1988 after its pupils and teachers were first on the scene of the Clapham Junction rail crash, which occurred just to the west of the main building. Led by Headmaster Peter Thomson, the entire school assisted in the rescue efforts and many of the 130 injured were taken up to the school for treatment.

    Even:

    One boy, Terry Stoppani, was celebrating his 12th birthday and was small enough to crawl into the wreckage and pull people out.

    This last quote pushes it a bit. The Health and Safety at Work standards of British Rail were questioned with this incident. What about Health and Safety at School? There’s wreckage strewn across the track, a train coming the other way, and they’re posting young Terry in to drag people out?

    It strikes me as being highly dangerous, and unlikely.

    ”Get back boy!”, being the more likely command in such a situation.

    I haven’t come to much detail on it yet. I almost expect to read that they put the bodies in the gym. That would be a clincher.

    A man with no legs crops up.

    ‘Thirty-five people died and nearly five hundred were injured’ says wonkypedia on the rail crash page, and then, ‘the entire school assisted in the rescue efforts and many of the 130 injured were taken up to the school for treatment’ on the Emanuel page.

    Perhaps there’s just a confusion and 130 of the injured went up to the school. I don’t know. I will continue to build a picture.

    Now here’s a story about a survivor who changed his name

    Rather like the, earlier quoted, Chris Owens who luckily changed his routine that morning Ron Jones changed his. Not only that, he eventually changed his life and his name.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-man-who-lived-to-tell-tales-the-clapham-rail-crash-made-a-new-man-of-ron-jones-martin-whittaker-explains-how-1385469.html

    He’s now an award winning crime fiction writer called Alex Keegan – and he prefers to be called that now – we’re told.

    It all gets a bit mad

    nb

    DalTampra

    #9173
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    Good images at this link. I don’t know if I missed it posted before.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/12/clapham-junction-rail-disaster-anniversary-_n_4432198.html

    clap

    A walking wounded climbs out up a ladder. I wondered why he couldn’t have got out on the other side.
    two

    img

    There seems to be just one obliterated carriage between two derailed trains.
    mn

    The ‘doctor'(we assume) with his hands in his pockets at the bottom of the picture and his brief case on the ground…he’s hardly someone in a hurry tending to multiple victims.

    DalTampra

    #9182

    xileffilex
    Participant

    thanks, Tom – that bandaging is of “drill” quality. I think the school did indeed house a temporary mortuary…need to read the official report [link above] I’d love to see how all these intrepid pupils and masters just jumped down onto the tracks. I fail to see how Mr Cannon got involved here:
    https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=emanuel+school+sw11&ll=51.459176,-0.173236&spn=0.001286,0.001725&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&channel=sb&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=51.459127,-0.173372&panoid=mdEu3fKRWUh74j9XwRXq7w&cbp=12,176.15,,0,0
    That’s the whole point, in the UK, the rail companies don’t want people being able to jump onto tracks in deep cuttings and get electrocuted.

    “A temporary mortuary was established at an early stage”

    p53 ff is quite interesting – the first call to the police wasn’t a 999! No urgency there, a bit like a stolen bike. Made at 8.10, followed by 999 at 8.12… traffic diversions established – to keep the public away in reality. The first police officers on scene – post 8.17Am – escorted the wounded to Emanuel School That must have been an effort getting them up the banks over railings, etc. etc.

    I
    Metropolitan Police Officers’ duties were then directed to: –
    traffic control
    -supervision of the casualty centre at Emanuel School
    – supervision of the casualty collection point at Spencer Park
    – establishing hospital liaison teams of officers to record details of casualties arriving at the hospitals
    – setting up and control of the temporary mortuary
    – establishing the casualty bureau.

    At thecasualty centres at Spencer Park, Emanuel School and the Roundhouse public house, the walking wounded were cared for and their names and addresses taken.
    Police officers at the hospitals took details of those arriving and the severity of their injuries.
    A temporary mortuary was established at an early stage and details and descriptions of the deceased recorded

    We are not told where the mortuary was.

    One boy Terry Stoppani was celebrating his 12th birthday and was small enough to crawl into the wreckage and pull people out.

    and from the report, p.56, para 5.55

    visited the British Transport Police incident room on 9January 1989 and saw the detailed and difficult work which was necessary in order to seek to identify where passengers had been sitting or standing
    at the time of the accident. I am deeply grateful to Superintendent Stoppani to Detective Chief Inspector Taylor and the rest of the rest of their team in the incident room for that work and all the help to the court in this investigation…..

    Clearly a common South London name.

    Shades of 7/7

    #9194
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    Shades of 7/7, how appropriate, xileffilex? The very first call to the emergency services was made by a Lisbet Tolson, who jumped straight off a number 77 bus when she heard the crash and went to a phone box.

    I learnt that from finally reading Anthony Hidden QC’s report:
    http://www.weathercharts.org/railway/Clapham_Junction_Collision_1988.pdf

    I was trying to get a better picture of the rescue operation and see how likely it was that 12 year old school boy would be posted into wreckage to drag people out.

    All I found on it was one clear reference to one male teacher, ‘schoolmaster’ Mr George Cannon, who is described as working his way down to the side of one carriage and beginning to help trapped people.

    The only other reference to the school comes here:

    I would especially mention the pupils and teachers of Emanuel School
    who helped passengers from the scene in the first few moments of the incident. The school quickly provided a casualty centre for the injured.

    That’s it. No mention of birthday boy or anything. In fact not that much detail about the dramatic bit. The rescue, the school children the trapped victims. It all seems just all a bit of a back slapping exercise as you suggest – ‘Oh the emergency services were marvelous…faultless’, but not much detail.

    Oh sure, there’s a whole chapter on how the actual signal went wrong. Not really my cup of tea.

    But nothing about young Stoppani. Older Stoppani at least gets a mention and some thanks for his help with it all there in the incident room.

    Are we on the right track with this? Will we get de-railed? When will this thread run out of steam,

    are we getting there? These and other questions will be addressed in due course. In the meantime First Capital Direct would like to wish you a safe and comfortable journey.

    br3

    DalTampra

    #9214

    xileffilex
    Participant

    Of course, you’d have needed to pay a child fare for a mobile phone on a bus in those days…but would you jump off a bus if you heard a bang and be late for work? The 77 bus passed along Earlsfield Road, to the west side of the cutting where the memorial is now. That would be the 8.12 999call, then? I can’t imagine Ms Tolson, then aged 25, knowing the local cop shop number at 8.10. The bus would have been crowded. What did she do then or witness below the railings ? We are not told.

    http://uk.linkedin.com/in/lisbetsherlock

    Just wonder why they would identify a 999 caller when there would have been lots of them, probably very close together?? Quite an unusual thing to do. One which does stand out is the call made by a Stephen Pullen at the Daily Express about his colleague finding the body of Roberto Calvi hanging under Blackfriars Bridge (allegedly as we must always say nowadays, because we cannot believe anything we read in the press). One for another day…
    I’ve not finished yet – time to look at what some of the Clapham survivors said years later and examine the list of the dead.
    I just wish that one day, when examining a significant event, the news stories all seem normal. It can’t be “sloppy journalism” every time, can it? In any case this sub-species, the “journo” just writes down unquestioningly whatever their police/security/political “sources” tell them to.

    #9215
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    Trusted company men and women they know the drill. And it is a drill – very often.

    If it is a psyOp, it’s big boys playing with trains here.
    That’s got to be good fun, on a level. How did they do it?

    tr

    The official story says there were three trains. If we look at the image above to the right at the top, we see the original train which crashed under emergency breaking at 35mph (coming down towards us as we look) into a stationary train.

    The first carriage of the stationary train was lifted and thrown up the bank and the rest derailed. Meanwhile the front carriages of the original train derailed and started heading across the tracks to be then struck a glancing blow by a train coming the other way which derailed itself, lost it’s front car and driver down the track and came to rest parallel to the bulk of the original two trains with the wreckage of the front part of the first train wedged between them.

    So are we clear? I’m not.

    ( Aside-Why did the youtube say everyone on the Bassingstoke train died instantly?)

    What I see is three virtually intact trains ( if you will ) the first carriage of the struck train is supposedly up on the bank remember, and a small amount of absolutely obliterated carriage in between.

    I’m not sure it makes sense. 35 mph? Is that really enough to obliterate the front of the Poole train in this way? 29 were said to have died in the first carriage and 6 in the second…
    How did the front carriage of the stationary train get popped up on the bank in one piece, while the front of the Poole train got obliterated??

    The driver of the stationary Bassingstoke train felt a bump and his train moved a few feet. How can this be right? Maybe it is, I don’t know but as I understand it, that initial impact was fierce enough to obliterate one carriage and throw the end carriage of his train up the bank.

    I’ve probably misread what happened. But as it stands it doesn’t make sense to me.

    Anyway. Time for a brew.
    ” A mobile canteen was organised by the Salvation Army”

    DalTampra

    #9216

    xileffilex
    Participant

    We are near carriage sidings here at Clapham Junction. I wonder if you could create a crash by reversing a train into another. If one train runs into another, one tends to get concertinad coaches in a head on smash.
    The Wiki page is less than useless, being based just on the Hidden report.
    The Salvation Army tea wagon is a huge clue. So often encountered at drills.
    THe photo also makes no sense – the third train involved was empty stock running south on the adjacent (school side) line. I would assumed therefore the first driving coach would be slewed off the track in th direction of the school with severe frontal damage.In the photo above the front coach has slewed off the down line, but looks undamaged.
    Further problems:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/12/newsid_2547000/2547561.stm

    A third empty train later ran into the wreckage killing some passengers who had survived the first crash.

    How do they know that?
    The coaches on the left must belong to the empty stock train:

    We still haven’t located the alleged teacher Mr Cannon, have we? However, by a strange coincidence,

    The Transport Secretary Paul Cannon is understood to be on his way to the scene of the tragedy.

    but it was Paul Channon

    Emergency services have said the extent of the injuries mean some passengers have received operations at the scene.

    What are they all doing on the roof?

    The trains involved at Clapham were of the old, Mark 1 slam-door variety, which are known to be less able to withstand a crash than more modern carriages.

    Members of the House of Commons Transport Committee this week expressed concerns about the safety of Mark 1 stock.

    Yet as many as 2,300 of these carriages remain in use – mainly on commuter routes in the south-east.

    1998 – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/233576.stm
    The Christopher Wain audio link [R5 live Dec 12 1998] still works – he says the train which ploughed into the Bournemouth train was from Reading! Impossible – and compounds the false story by saying the third train only “sheer good luck” prevented the third train ploughing into the wreckage rather than killing more people. Perhaps this is a genuine case of sloppy journalism 10 years after?
    Wain was BBC transport correspondent from 1987 onwards until 1999

    Must look for more images. The supply is surprisingly thin.

    There’s some 1988 [2.30 mins approx] footage here from ITV, available to academic subscribers:
    http://jiscmediahub.ac.uk/record/display/039-00015397;jsessionid=4B7C19F8F75054A2D8C68C274D945104

    Some ITV clips here, but I can’t get them to work
    http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist/ITN/2008/12/12/T12120835/?v=1

    #9225

    xileffilex
    Participant

    “In excess of 30 bodies retrieved and there are more to come out” Chief Fire Officer Jim McMillan in answer to a conflict about the estimates of the number of dead, viz 32 and 53.

    Lockerbie came 9 days later…

    #9226

    xileffilex
    Participant

    More wreckage pictures…


    source: http://www.collectionspicturelibrary.co.uk/select.php?kwrd=Clapham%20Junction&ptag=1
    The last photo is interesting, since it seems to show a carriage shunted away from the camera up the embankment.

    More ambulances – blogged by a more recent local resident who identifies the viewpoint as the roof of the Roundhouse PH [see above….]
    http://mushypeasontoast.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/whats-on-your-doorstep.html

    #9227

    xileffilex
    Participant

    and some more…

    It’s clear that the carriages in the middle of the sandwich are not suburban slam-door stock. [3x] Class 423 4-VEP stock made up the first Basingstoke train; the following Bournemouth express running late was said to have been made up of one 4-REP [unit # 2003, ex-3003] and two 4TC cars[again 12 carriages] . The empty carraige working westbound was composed again of 2x four-car 4VEP slam door units.

    4TC stock had only a few doors per carriage, being converted from Intercity stock, with a driving cab at each end of the quartet of coaches.


    source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/camperdown/8483147748/
    4-REP motor set from Flickr: the motor cars would propel the bogie 4TC cars to Bournemouth, or pull the unpowered cars to London.

    #9228
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    clap

    Good images xilef.

    Yes. The train up on the bank was supposedly thrown there. It’s supposedly the first carriage of the stationary train that was hit. My questions have been ”How did it get up there?” and ”How did the first two carriages of the Poole train become so obliterated ?” The train is said to have crashed at 35mph.

    The stories talk of trains ‘flying up in the air’. This seems unlikely but the train up the bank must have got there somehow.

    The carriage, detached and further down the line, is the drivers cabin of the empty train coming the other way. It detached when it was struck a ‘glancing blow’ (two carriages down), by the debris from the Poole train.

    The damage to the carriage that was hit and ended up on the bank looks not much more than the damage one would expect from a collision at 35mph. Quite how the impact made it lift of the track and up the bank is beyond me.

    I’m no expert on train crashes. Perhaps trains by their nature are very hard to stop quickly, perhaps the Poole train kept rolling and sort of popped the first carriage off the track. You tell me. I’ve not read or seen a satisfactory explanation yet.

    DalTampra

    #9234

    xileffilex
    Participant

    On the face of it, Tom, the position of the carriage up the bank would seem not to fit in with the laws of Physics. We don’t know what date the pictures were taken, or how long it took for the site to be cleared. It would certainly be an odd place to lift the carriage to by crane in the clear-up.
    A few more images:



    One year later, Stewarts Lane Depot, SW8

    This is an interesting one, with the comment:

    Amazing how the saloon of this vehicle survived unscathed!!

    This must be the rear end of the Basingstoke train, 4-VEP # 4033 There is no concertina-ing visible at all.
    For reference, this is what Network SE liveried 4-VEP stock looks like – to see what is missing – and it must be a 4-VEP up the bank, and….there can only be one wrecked end to a 4-VEP due to a head-on; we are not told about the damage, if any, to the third train, also composed of 4-VEP stock.

    #9238
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    bas

    Ah yes, xilef, good digging. I’d agree. That looks like the rear end of the Bassingstoke train which took the full force of the initial (35mph) impact and then somehow detached itself from it’s other carriages and hopped up the bank. On reading Anthony Hidden’s report he even seemed to express some surprise that the carriage got up there. It wasn’t hoisted by crane. That was it’s position, post accident.

    up

    How is any of it possible? To be honest, having read the report, I can’t see that anything should have happened other than a nasty shunt.

    I’m going to have to go back and read the report again, but I’m sure it said that the train was travelling at about 65 mph and then hit the breaks, full lock, and the speed at impact was estimated at 35mph.

    Was the 4-VEP stock that much more sturdy than the stock of the Poole train which it seems to have shattered?
    And, if it was that flimsy, how did it propel the back carriage of the Bassingstoke train up the bank?

    I’m no expert on train crashes (although I did like The Train with Burt Lancaster! ) but right now I’m struggling to see how this carnage could have happened at all.

    DalTampra

    #9239

    xileffilex
    Participant

    An American online capture from 1988:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19881213&id=aqhJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Lw4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=2450,4460103

    “It is sheer bloody hell,that’s what it is” – Jim McMillan [see above video] Some bodies were so badly dismembered that limbs were placed in separate body bags,adding to confusion about the toll said John Norris, a Fire Brigade divisional officer.

    Wooooowww!

    Police inspector Barry Webb said some limbs were unaccounted for and therefore the toll could rise

    Whaaaat??

    34 people died in the crash and two later at a hospital

    [nice and vague]

    p3

    hurling bodies onto the tracks as the cars “split open like a ripe tomato”

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=19881212&id=5gJOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JIwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6204,2187747

    A spokeswoman for the ambulance service requesting anonymity, [strange thing to do – why, pray? Isn’t that her job?] said 42 bodies were accounted for and “we are expecting to find more bodies”. She said 115 passengers were hosptalised, 30 with serious injuries and others were treated where they lay on the ground and in the wreckage. Other ambulance service spokesmen said some people had to have limbs amputated to extricate them from the wreckage. Brtish Transport Police said….53 people died in the crash but ambulance spokesmen and fire officials at the scene could not confirm the transport police figure. Lou Gill the Fire Brigade’s divisional officer said all survivors had been removed about 5 hours after the crash but feared that when the mangled wreckage was finally cleared, “there may be further bodies underneath”.
    Transport Police spokesman Jim Rowe said at the scene that about 1,500 people were aboard the 20 passenger carriages involved.
    “We were going pretty fast, about 70 miles an hour” said Greg Ford, 28 who was on the passenger train [i.e. the moving one….] “It went bang and that was it.We were all over the place”
    Roy Daniel,37, was in the buffet car when “the train startd stopping and we started falling over each other. [started stopping from 40 or 70]mph??? ] “we came to a stop and the (buffet) counter was sort of lodged on top of us. That saved us” [unlike, presumably everybody else in the buffet car who was not under the counter….]
    Chris Reeves, 38, of Southampton was also in the buffet car.He said he saw “furniture and big lumps of metal flying everywhere. The whole of the buffet car disintegrated” Reeves said, “and the roof split open like a ripe tomato and that’s how we got out. We tried to find people underneath the rubble but there was so much debris there was nothing we could do”
    A child’s stroller lay atop one carriage [how did it get there??]
    “Bodies were ripped apart and the trains were tangled together ” said firefigher Chris Fitzgerald. “There were pieces of bodies lying all over the place. You could hear people moaning” said Webb of the Ambulance service.

    Is this a train or a building being demolished?
    It is starting to sound like a drill.

    The injured were ferried to five hospitals in a fleet of 20 ambulances. Emmanuel [sic] High School near the scene of the crash was used as a makeshift clinic. Boys from the school scrambled down the banks to help rescue survivors….Alec Jackson, a school official said “I was in my office here, 100 yards from the line. There was just an enormous explosion, like a bomb, then smoke, thick black smog, then absolute mayhem” He said scores of passengers arrived at the school bleeding, dazed and missing teeth.

    No doubt dentists were also on hand in the school’s emergency clinic.
    This is just too crazy for words. Black smog, explosions….

    Finally

    British Rail will pay about$18,000 in immediate compensation to relatives of the 34 people killed…..officials said yesterday

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19890106&id=sZ5RAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2G0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=1070,1537518
    dated January 6 1989


    Jim McMillan receives a BBC “Heart of Gold”, 31 December 1988 on behalf of the emergency services. All wonderful.With Esther Rantzen.

    #9245
    Tom Dalpra
    Tom Dalpra
    Participant

    …and Jimmy Saville…he got everywhere.

    DalTampra

    #9266

    xileffilex
    Participant

    Some witnesses..what did they see?
    Chartered accountant George Gillon was well quoted, well 25 years later in 2013:
    Now 71, was in the third carriage of the Bournemouth train:
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/vigil-held-for-clapham-junction-rail-crash-victims-25-years-on-8999700.html

    “I was one of the lucky ones,” he said.
    “A number of my friends on that train were killed.”

    No names.
    Who he? Why, he’s the chief commoner in the City of London b1942, cordwainer ward

    http://companycheck.co.uk/director/902377734

    Linda Ship, 47, and her sister Diana O’Carroll, 44, travelled from Hampshire to remember their father Arthur Creek, 48, who was killed on the train.

    Another survivor who spoke was Roy Daniel

    http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/3986819.Train_crash_survivors_who_will_never_forget/

    I’m a bit puzzled how they know there were 468 passengers exactly on the Bournemouth train.

    18th December 2008

    Roy Daniel was with his friends in the buffet car of the 7.36am express from Basingstoke [i.e. the Bournemouth train] when it ploughed into the back of the train in front that had stopped.
    He said: “At exactly 8.11am, I asked my friend how we were doing for time. At that point there was an almighty thud and all the crowd of us were flung to the ground.
    “The counter from the buffet car was on top of us and we were holding it up trying to support it, trying to stop it falling on us.

    “We tried to stand up but it was difficult because the train was up on the embankment.”
    He added: “Eventually we had some support from firemen who managed to relieve us from holding this bar up.
    “I then had to climb through a hole in the carriage’s roof and up this bank with my briefcase, which was a little bit worse for wear.”
    Mr Daniel, who travelled every morning to London where he worked as an accountant, was lucky. He managed to walk free from the wreckage, suffering two cracked ribs.
    The 57-year-old, of Bittern Close, Kempshott, Basingstoke, no longer commutes, working mostly from home. But he said: “The disaster stays in people’s minds. The people involved in the Clapham crash will not forget it.”

    Richard Court, who is now a Basingstoke and Deane Borough councillor, was travelling on the express train two carriages from the front. He was commuting to his job in London as an engineer.
    He said: “I was getting up to get my bag and then the next thing I knew I was flying down the seats.
    “There was absolute silence in the moments after the crash and I remember very clearly the sound of a blackbird singing away.”
    Now 55, Mr Court, who lives in Coniston Road, Kempshott, suffered whiplash injuries, but two years later, doctors found he had a latent back injury from the crash, which still causes him pain.
    There’s an ITV video here:
    http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/topic/clapham-junction-crash/
    The interviewees are: Lee Middleton, a survivor from Winchester; Robin Gisby from Network Rail; and Richard Greenwood, a rescue worker.
    Note the dry eye handkerchief motions at 0:06 and 0:25
    Lee Middleton – pinned down by metal structures…

    “The bodies were completely buried with all the shrapnel from the trains so we really had to dig them out from that so it was quite a difficult day, yeah”

    – Richard Greenwood, ambulance man.
    [2013]

    Ian Gavin-Brown is now a 66-year-old lawyer, well-known for organising the Winchfield Festival. But on December 12, 1988, he was sitting in the stopping train when the express rammed into it.
    Mr Gavin-Brown, of Bagwell Lane, Winchfield, said: “It was like being kicked in the back by a horse. There was a tremendous thud and everybody was shaken up.
    “I got out of the train and looked back and saw nothing, because there was this bridge in the way. I was appalled to find out later that there were 35 people lying dead back there.”

    Why would he get out of the train onto the electrified track? Was he told to? I doubt it. We don’t hear from the guards. Are they named? Not as far as I have seen so far. They would be key witnesses.

    Some interesting discussion in this wiki talk page
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AClapham_Junction_rail_crash
    It concerned excising this revision:

    Again I read that the ecs (empty coaching stock) hit the wreckage of the initial crash. This is incorrect. As the Poole hit the rear of the Basingstoke train the ecs was just passing and the coaches of the Poole ‘bounced’ into the second car of the ecs. The front car with the driver in and the guard who was up front having a chat, was uncoupled from the second car by the crash. If the train had crashed into the wreck the driver and guard would have been seriously injured or even killed. This was not the case and in photographs the front car of the ecs can be seen standing alone clear of the wrecked trains. RW Hind,ex guard and colleague of those involved.

    I’m reaching the point that any event with a public inquiry after it is some kind of faked or staged event. I don’t now believe any of the stuff about “faulty wiring” which suddenly became faulty after 8am that day.
    The Wiki page is well policed and always brought back to the Hidden report. The references are minimal.

    #9485
    Nemesis
    Nemesis
    Participant

    Interesting memorial:

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