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‘A terrible day for our community’: Outpouring of support to those affected by Stonehaven train crash

A train derailed near Stonehaven.

Pictures by Darrell Benns 12/08/2020.
A train derailed near Stonehaven. Pictures by Darrell Benns 12/08/2020.

People across the north-east have come together to offer their support and help to those affected by this morning’s crash.

In Aberdeen, NHS Grampian have transformed Midstocket Church into a safe space for friends and families to safely meet.

Chaplains are on the scene to support those affected.

In Stonehaven, Fetteresso Church also became an unofficial meeting point for people seeking answers.

The town’s Round Table group said they were “feeling heartbroken” and offered vans and volunteers to help during the day.

Meanwhile, the Haven Food Bank will be open between 2 and 4pm tomorrow for all those in the town who floods may have affected.

Today, politicians, members of the transport community and local people have spoken of the “magnificent” response of emergency services and offered their condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

Three confirmed dead and six injured after ScotRail train derails south of Stonehaven

Earlier, Nicola Sturgeon was briefed by emergency services just before standing up at Holyrood for First Minister’s Questions.

She will be having meetings with government and emergency officials through the afternoon before realising further information.

She said: “Details are still emerging but there are early reports of serious injuries.”

A press conference in Stonehaven is scheduled for later this afternoon – where official figures are expected to be confirmed.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has said there is “lots of questions and lots of speculation” surrounding the incident.

He added: “Right now the focus must be with and for our amazing emergency services on the ground, the team at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and our thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of everyone effected.”

Douglas Ross

Meanwhile the Scottish Conservative’s new leader, Douglas Ross, said: “Today’s events are heartbreaking and hard to bear.

“Only one conclusion can be drawn from the early reports and images we have seen — this is nothing short of a disaster.

“All our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved, and I would like to thank the brave emergency services who are dealing with the incident.”

In Stonehaven, local councillors are doing what they can to support those affected by the crash, but also to reach out to the wider community in the wake of last night’s horrific flooding.

And churches in the surrounding area, such as West Mearns Parish Church, have organised prayers this evening.

Meanwhile Dennis Robertson, a Stonehaven councillor, said it was a “terrible day for our community.”

He said: “However, our thoughts  are with those who have been affected  by today’s  dreadful accident.

“No words can adequately  describe  what has happened but the emergency services  were on the scene  as quickly as they could be and our thanks go out to them and to all those at the ARI who are once again  demonstrating  their professionalism  in dealing with this tragic incident.”

Raymond Christie, chairman of Stonehaven Community Council, added it was “horrible” and added “the emergency service have done incredibly well to get on the scene so fast, there are a lot of little roads to the area.

“My thoughts are with all those affected.”

Pictures taken from the site of the derailed train near Stonehaven.

Transport unions have also joined calls to support those affected.

Senior assistant general secretary at RMT, Mick Lynch, 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.”

Meanwhile Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, added: ‘We are aware that this is an extremely serious incident and our thoughts are with everyone involved.”

If you are seeking help or support in relation to this morning’s incident call 01224 319519.

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