Points failure caused Potters Bar
Posted Fri, 30 Jul 2010
Seven people died in the Potters Bar rail crash as a result of a points failure caused by their unsafe condition, an inquest jury decided today.
There were failures of inspection and/or maintenance of the points in the period before the crash, the jury in Letchworth concluded following the seven-week hearing.
Six passengers - Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Jonael Schickler, Alexander Ogunwusi, Chia Hsin Lin and Chia Chin Wu - were killed in the crash in Hertfordshire on May 10 2002.
The seventh victim, Agnes Quinlivan, who was walking nearby, died after she was hit by debris.
More than 70 people were injured when the 12.45 King's Cross to King's Lynn train crashed as it reached Potters Bar, where it was not due to stop, at around 1pm.
The six passengers who died were in the fourth carriage, which became detached and airborne.
The train was travelling at a legal speed - 98mph - and driver Gordon Gibson was cleared of any blame.
A Network Rail (NR) spokesman said: "Today we remember the lives lost eight years ago. Since then much has changed. The railways are almost unrecognisable since the days of Railtrack and the Potters Bar tragedy of 2002.
"Private contractors are no longer involved in the day-to-day maintenance of the nation's rail infrastructure as NR took this entire operation, involving some 15,000 people, in-house in 2004.
"All of the recommendations made by both the industry's own formal inquiry and the health and safety investigation have been actioned. Today the railways are safer than they have ever been."
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