Hatfield

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, today paid tribute to those who died – and were injured – in the Hatfield rail crash 19 years ago.

Four people died, and more than 70 people were injured, when a GNER InterCity 225 travelling from London to Leeds was derailed, just south of Hatfield station in Hertfordshire, on 17 October 2000.

Mick said: ‘Hatfield exposed the serious shortcomings of the privatised infrastructure company Railtrack. The subsequent inquiry revealed that the company – which put profit before safety – had failed in its duty of care to passengers and workers. As some people talk about privatising Network Rail - and reforming the rail industry - we should reflect on what that means and where it goes.

'Private companies put profit – and their dividends to shareholders –before safety and take short cuts which result in accidents, injuries and deaths. In a safety-critical industry there is no room for a company, or chief executive, who wants his managers to take short cuts at the expense of fare-paying passengers, and those of us who work in the industry, and put safety, delivery, and public service first.’

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