Three dead after passenger train derails in Scotland

Three people have been killed and six injured after a passenger train derailed south of Aberdeen in Scotland.

British Transport Police said officers were called to the scene at Stonehaven, about 160 kilometres north-east of Edinburgh, at 9:43am (local time) along with paramedics and the fire brigade.

“Very sadly despite the best efforts of paramedics, we can confirm that three people have been pronounced dead at the scene,” a BTP statement said.

“While formal identification is yet to take place, the driver of the train is very sadly believed to have died.

“His family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.

“Officers are continuing to work to inform the families of the other two people who sadly died.”


Six people were taken to hospital with non-serious injuries.

It is believed the train derailed due to a landslide after heavy rain had lashed the area.

The BBC reported that the train was made up of two locomotives, one at the front and one at the back, and four passenger carriages. It said the front locomotive and three of the carriages had left the track and were sitting on a river embankment.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was an “extremely serious incident”.

“I’ve had an initial report from Network Rail and the emergency services and am being kept updated.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a news conference on coronavirus.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the incident as “extremely serious”.(Reuters: Jane Barlow)

“All my thoughts are with those involved.”

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

Cars are seen partially submerged in floodwater on a street with at least two shops. The sky is cloudy.
Scotland’s east experienced flooding on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning, when the derailing happened.(AP: Martin Anderson)

Scotland’s east had experienced torrential rain and thunderstorms which caused flooding on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Local politician Andrew Bowie said one hospital in nearby Aberdeen had declared a major incident.

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“We obviously don’t know why the derailment took place, but obviously we have suffered terrible weather here,” Mr Bowie said.

The UK’s last fatal train derailment was in 2007.