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.
— The Press & Journal (@pressjournal) August 12, 2020
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.
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.”
This is an extremely serious incident. I’ve had an initial report from Network Rail and the emergency services and am being kept updated. All my thoughts are with those involved. https://t.co/veKAgMwZ36
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 12, 2020
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.”
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.
We're currently responding to an incident on the line in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where a train has derailed.
Officers were called to the scene at 9.43am and remain there alongside paramedics and the fire brigade.
All further updates will be shared here.
— British Transport Police (@BTP) August 12, 2020
“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.”
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.
THREAD // #Aberdeenshire Major Incident Support for relatives and friends.
A Welcome Centre for family and friends affected by the incident has been opened by NHS Grampian, in Aberdeen, at Midstocket Church, Mid Stocket Road.
— NHS Grampian (@NHSGrampian) August 12, 2020
“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.