London

Clapham rail disaster: Memorial service held

  • 12 December 2013
  • From the section London

A two-minute silence has been held to remember 35 people who died in the Clapham rail crash 25 years ago.

The silence was held at 08:13 GMT, the exact time the three-train collision happened close to Clapham Junction station in south London.

Survivors attended a service at the crash memorial site near the scene of the accident, which took place on 12 December 1988.

One, George Gillon, from London, said he was "one of the lucky ones".

'Friends killed'

Clapham rail disaster memorial
Two memorials were held to remember those who lost their lives

On the day Mr Gillon, now 71, was travelling from Hampshire in the third carriage of the London-bound Bournemouth train.

"I was one of the lucky ones," he said.

"A number of my friends on that train were killed."

A second service was also held at the memorial site, which was attended by train drivers and representatives of their union, Aslef.

Prayers at the service mentioned the pupils of nearby Emanuel School, who helped treat the injured after the crash.

On the day, two commuter trains, carrying an estimated 1,300 passengers between them, collided just outside the station.

'Important lessons'

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

Before the service, rail minister Baroness Kramer paid tribute to those who had lost their lives.

"Important lessons have been learnt since then and Britain today has one of the safest rail networks in the world," she said.

"However, we must never become complacent. We must always make sure that safety remains the number one priority on our railways."

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