Residents in Stonehaven were left disgusted after discovering “heartbreaking” vandalism at the train station – one year on from the rail disaster which claimed the lives of three men.
At 9.43am on August 12 – one year ago today – a landslip caused by an intense rainstorm resulted in a ScotRail train derailing from the tracks at Carmont, just south of Stonehaven.
The disaster claimed the lives of Driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury.
It left the Aberdeenshire community shaken.
Today, families of the three men came together at the railway station in Stonehaven to hold a private ceremony to mark the first anniversary since their lives were lost.
However, rail users coming to the station just hours before the ceremony were faced with plants pulled from their beds which were strewn across the station in an act of vandalism, which occurred on Wednesday evening.
The destruction was despite the hard work done by the Stonehaven Horizon Group who planted the flowers, who said it was “so disappointing that this should happen at any time but especially not on the anniversary of the train disaster last year”.
The flowers scattered across the platform weren’t connected to any memorial for the derailment.
A ScotRail spokesman described the incident as a “deplorable act of vandalism” which has been reported to the British Transport Police, who are investigating reports a “teenage girl” vandalised flower displays.
Passenger Ruby Walis came across the scene when she arrived for her 6.42am train into Aberdeen.
She said: “It is so sad that people could maliciously do that today of all days after people have spent time to make the area look nice.”
Others took to social media to voice their hurt over the actions.
One said: “These individuals are obviously disturbed enough to have gone out of their way to do this and probably knew that today is Memorial Day at the station.”
Another said: “Absolutely fuming at seeing this after all the hard work that has gone into it by the Horizon Group making it beautiful.
“Wanton destruction, heartbreaking and it has to happen on the day folk will be remembering those who lost their lives or are still suffering through the tragic train crash a year ago.”
ScotRail are reviewing CCTV following the incident.
A spokesman said: “This is a deplorable act of vandalism. Anti-social behaviour of this kind has no place on Scotland’s Railway.
“The incident, which took place late on Wednesday evening, has been reported to British Transport Police and we will work with the authorities to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”
British Transport police said in a statement: “Officers are investigating after it was reported a teenage girl had vandalised flower displays at Stonehaven station.
“The incident is believed to have taken place shortly after midnight this morning (12 August).
“Enquiries are ongoing.”