Aftermath: Investigators seek answers in derailment that killed three

The train driver and conductor were among those killed in the derailment.

Aftermath: Investigators seek answers in derailment that killed three

An investigation is underway into a train crash in Aberdeenshire that left three people dead.

The train driver and a conductor – named locally as Brett McCullough and conductor Donald Dinnie – were killed in the derailment in Stonehaven on Wednesday morning.

A passenger also died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow service came off the tracks.

A union official said colleagues “thought the world” of Mr McCullough, 45, who leaves wife Stephanie and three children, two girls and a boy.

Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organiser for the train drivers union Aslef, said: “The tragic accident at Stonehaven has affected everyone in the railway family.

“Brett thought the world of his family, and his colleagues thought the world of him.”

Six other people were left injured after the train came off the tracks in an area hit by heavy flooding.

They are being treated in hospital.

An investigation has now been launched to identify the cause of the incident.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said it has sent a team of inspectors to the site of a derailment near Stonehaven.

It added: “We have launched an investigation and will provide an update in the coming days.”

And Scotland’s transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of those who have lost their lives and those who were injured in this tragic rail incident near Stonehaven this morning.”

He said he plans to meet with some of the emergency responders tomorrow morning, adding: “I would like to thank all the engineers and emergency services who are responding to this incident and the challenging conditions they are dealing with at this time.”

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “We are working closely and quickly with the emergency services on the incident near Stonehaven.

“Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this tragic event, particularly the families of those who have lost their lives. The railway in Scotland is often referred to as a family, and it’s one that is hurting today.

“We have teams on site and we will do all we can to support everyone affected. We are working closely with all the relevant authorities to establish the cause of this incident.”

Chief superintendent Eddie Wylie, from British Transport Police, said: “This is a tragic incident and first and foremost our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have very sadly died this morning.

“We remain on scene alongside our emergency service colleagues, and a major incident operation has been under way.

“Once the area has been made safe then a full and thorough search will be conducted, which is likely to take some time.”

Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson and the Royal Family were among those sending their condolences to the victims on Wednesday.

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