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Stonehaven: reports of serious injuries after train derails in Aberdeenshire

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A train has derailed in the north-east of Scotland amid reports of an engine fire and passengers being injured.

Emergency crews have rushed to the scene of the stricken train in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire around 9.45am this morning.

Police, fire crews and ambulances are all in attendance.

Many services have been halted today due to the poor weather, which is causing widespread flooding to the north of the country.

Rail industry sources told PA that the suspected cause of the incident was a landslip.

The train involved was said to be the six-carriage 6.38am Aberdeen to Stonehaven service.

Twelve people – six passengers and six staff – were on board.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said they had deployed six ambulances, special operations response teams, an air ambulance, and patient transport vehicles.

Scottish Fire and Rescue crews were also in attendance.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the derailment of the ScotRail passenger train as an “extremely serious incident”.

“I’ve had an initial report from Network Rail and the emergency services and am being kept updated,” she posted on Twitter.

“All my thoughts are with those involved.”

Speaking later during First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon said there had been “early reports of serious injuries” as she revealed a “major incident” had been declared.

Thunderstorms had caused flooding across Aberdeenshire on Wednesday, prompting the cancellation of some rail services and the shutting of a number of schools.

At 9.49am on Wednesday, Network Rail Scotland posted a video of a landslip and flooding on rail tracks at Carmont.

Smoke rising from the scene of the derailment suggested it occurred near to a bend in the tracks close to Carmont.

“At Carmont, we’ve had reports of a landslip, which means services can’t operate between Dundee & Aberdeen,” Network Rail Scotland had posted on Twitter.

It is unclear whether the landslip was directly related to the incident.

Local journalist Lewis McKay, speaking to Sky News from the scene shortly before 1pm, said there were “still a lot of emergency services arriving”.

He described how the area could only be reached by a “very, very narrow” road, while the train line running through the area had “very, very steep” embankments.

“The issue here at the moment, it seems to me, is that this is possibly the most inaccessible area this could have happened,” he said.

He added: “This morning it was probably the worst flooding I have seen in the northeast for a long, long time.”

The site of the train derailment

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “saddened to learn of the very serious incident in Aberdeenshire and my thoughts are with all of those affected”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he had held an urgent meeting with rail operators about the Stonehaven derailment.

“British Transport Police & Network Rail are on location, along with rail workers who were nearby,” the UK cabinet minister posted on Twitter.

“The UK Government will provide every support. My thoughts are with those involved and their families.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said: “We can confirm we are on a major incident footing following an incident involving a train near Stonehaven.

“We have well-rehearsed protocols and procedures for dealing with such incidents and are working closely with emergency service partners.”

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the independent investigator, said it was sending a team of inspectors to the site to conduct a preliminary examination.

Mick Lynch, the assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: “RMT is aware of the major incident at Stonehaven and our reps are liaising directly at senior level with both Scotrail and Network Rail.

“Our priority at this time is to support our members, their colleagues and their families and to do all that we can to assist the rescue operation which RMT members are currently involved in.

“The facts behind this incident will need to be established in due course but at this stage we are focused on support and assistance and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.”