§ Mr. Gunter
(by Private Notice)asked the Minister of Transport if he has any statement to make on the railway accident at Doncaster on Friday last.
§ The Minister of Transport (Mr. Barnes)
On Friday, 16th March, the 10.6 a.m. express passenger train from Doncaster to King's Cross became derailed at moderate speed about 500 yards from Doncaster station. The engine and the first two coaches remained on the rails, but the third coach was forced broadside against the pier of an over-bridge and was demolished; the following seven coaches were also derailed. I regret to state that 14 passengers were killed, and 23 were injured, of whom 12 are still detained in hospital. I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my deepest sympathy with the relatives of those who were killed and with those who were injured.
The rescue work was carried out with commendable promptitude and efficiency by railway staff and other local organisations, and ambulances and medical assistance were very quickly on the scene.
An Inspecting Officer of Railways, from my Department, visited the site within a few hours of the accident, and a formal inquiry is being opened by the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways on Wednesday, 21st March, at Doncaster.
§ Mr. Gunter
I am sure that the Minister will be aware that his remarks about the organisation of the relief work and of the local organisations will be very well received in the borough of Doncaster. It has been proved that it was an amazing feat of organisation that rescue parties were so quickly on the spot, and it reflects the greatest credit, not only on the railwaymen who acted so magnificently, but upon the local authority as well, for the assistance they rendered.