Timeline of fatal train crash that left three dead

A train heading from Aberdeen to Glasgow derailed on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain and flooding.

Timeline of fatal train crash that left three dead
Tragedy: Three people died when a train derailed near to Stonehaven on Wednesday.

An investigation is under way into a fatal train crash that killed three people.

The train’s driver, conductor and a passenger were killed when the locomotive and its four carriages derailed near to Stonehaven on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain and flooding.

Six others suffered minor injuries during the crash.

Timeline of the tragedy

Emergency: A member of the public dialled 999.STV
Emergency: A member of the public dialled 999.

6.38am: The Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service departs on time.

6.53am: The service calls at Stonehaven railway station.

7am: The train stops for a landslip between Stonehaven and Carmont railway stations.

9.30am: The train is held up for more than two and a half hours before being moved onto the northbound track to be sent back to Stonehaven.

Shortly after this, the train was either hit by – or hit – a landslide.

Crash site: The locomotive and carriages left the tracks.
Crash site: The locomotive and carriages left the tracks.

9.38am: A member of the public dials 999 to alert the emergency services.

9.43am: Police Scotland are notified.

Multi-agency response: The teams worked throughout the day.
Multi-agency response: The teams worked throughout the day.

11.15am: The multi-agency response – including the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Scottish Ambulance Service, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and HM Coastguard – are pictured working at the scene.

3.30pm: NHS Grampian sets up a help centre at Midstocket Parish Church in Aberdeen for family and friends impacted by the crash.

Support: A help centre was set up at Midstocket Parish Church.
Support: A help centre was set up at Midstocket Parish Church.

4.15pm: British Transport Police (BTP) confirm three people died. It was later revealed the fatalities included the train driver and conductor, named locally as Brett McCullough and Donald Dinnie.

8.17pm: The Queen sends a message of condolence, following on from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s statements.

Thursday: The investigation into the fatal crash begins.

8.29am: The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reveals four firefighters were injured while dealing with the incident.

9.20am: Colleagues pay tribute to train driver Mr McCullough.

Workers: Train driver Brett McCullough and conductor Donald Dinnie.
Workers: Train driver Brett McCullough and conductor Donald Dinnie.

12pm: Network Rail confirms it is to carry out detailed inspections of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to that of the crash site.

12.30pm: Network Rail boss Andrew Haines visits the scene, following on from Scottish Government transport secretary Michael Matheson’s visit. Mr Haines pledges immediate action over the derailment.

12.35pm: The Crown Office confirms a joint investigation by Police Scotland, BTP and the Office of Rail and Road is under way – in parallel to an independent probe by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

1pm: Transport secretary Grant Shapps meets with emergency workers at the site of the derailment.

4.59pm: NHS Grampian confirms four patients have been discharged from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Two others remain in hospital, but in a stable condition.

‘Hearts of a nation are with those affected by the tragedy’

At Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the news of the deaths was “devastating”.

She added that lessons should be learned from the accident, and said her thoughts were with those who work on Scotland’s railway.

She added: “Of course, I’m thinking particularly of the bereaved families who face an experience that all of us dread – coming to terms with the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one.

“No words can ease their pain nor the awful reality that they are now forced to confront.

“But the hearts of a nation are with them today.

“What we can do right now is send them love and support, and in doing so I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone across Scotland.”