Around 30 people were sent to the hospital with serious injuries Sunday night after a Salisbury train crash in Southwestern England. Authorities were on the scene investigating what could have caused the crash as they helped people seek medical attention.
According to BBC News, a train near London Road in Salisbury collided with another train in Fisherton Tunnel that was disrupted by signal problems.
“Both trains were traveling in the same direction and one train struck the side of the other, causing it to derail whilst in the tunnel,” authorities said. “The front few carriages remained upright while the back tipped on their side.”
No deaths have been reported, but the driver of the train was more seriously hurt in the collision than other passengers, and is said to have potential live-changing injuries. The identity of the driver was not revealed by authorities.
“Around thirty people attended a casualty centre which was set up in a nearby church, the majority of who were walking wounded and assessed at the scene,” Wiltshire police said. “This will no doubt have been an incredibly frightening experience for all those involved and our thoughts are with them and their families today.”
Two injured people remained at the hospital Monday morning, along with the driver. Family told authorities that he is reportedly in stable condition.
Angela Mattingly, a passenger on the Salisbury train crash, told BBC News that, “There was suddenly a lot of jostling, possessions being thrown around and I think a few people went forward and hit their heads.”
“You just don’t know for a couple of seconds what’s happening,” she recalled. “Everything went black and there were red flashes and everything.”
Lucy Gregory, another Salisbury train crash passenger, remembered standing up to put on her coat when “there was this massive impact and I fell across the table.”
“The table came off the wall and I ended up underneath,” she said. “They smashed the windows and we got out… It was really scary.”
Lead detectives have been placed on the scene to determine what went wrong in the train signaling to cause the two trains to collide. Earlier reports detailed that one of the trains struck an unidentified object that caused it to collide with the other train, but investigators have yet to find anything that could have been blocking the track.
“We are keeping an open mind but at this early stage there has been nothing to suggest the train struck an object or that there was any significant delay between the trains colliding and then one derailing,” police said.
Corinna Anderson, 51, told BBC News that she was “thrown against the wall” as the trains collided. She said that there was a 3-week-old baby on board the second train, but that first responders were able to help her and her mother out safely.
“As I climbed off my train I saw the fireman cradling the baby in his arms and then I saw the mother get given the baby and they were escorted away for medical attention,” she said. “A lot of people are shook up, but generally everybody is thankful that nobody has been seriously hurt.”
Train service has been halted as authorities investigate.
England’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, later sent his condolences over a statement on Twitter, writing that, “My thoughts go out to those affected by the serious rail incident near Salisbury… We need to understand how this happened to prevent in the future.”
The Transportation Staffs Association called the collision “a very sobering reminder about why safety on our railways is always paramount.”