A person has died today after a ScotRail train derailed and crashed near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.
Industry sources confirmed the death to The Scotsman and said there were fears of a second fatality.
Today’s incident happened after an Inter7City train from Aberdeen to Glasgow had turned back after encountering a landslide, and then reportedly hit another one.
Pictures from ScotRail derailment are grim… pic.twitter.com/JihjtfmWzL— Philip Haigh (@philatrail) August 12, 2020
A major incident has been declared and about 30 emergency service vehicles – including air ambulance support – have been called to the scene.
Smoke was seen coming from the area, where landslips have been reported.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was an “extremely serious incident” and there were reports of serious injuries.
Torrential rain and thunderstorms have caused flooding and travel disruption across many parts of central and eastern Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon said the derailment had happened in “a very difficult location for emergency services to access”.
She added: “I know and appreciate that there will be many families who will be anxious if they believe they had relatives who were on that train.
“We will do everything we can to make sure the emergency services are supported, that families are supported.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am saddened to learn of the very serious incident in Aberdeenshire and my thoughts are with all of those affected. My thanks to the emergency services at the scene.”
The train was made up of two locomotives – at the front and back – and four carriages.
It is understood that the front locomotive and three passenger carriages have left the track and are now sitting on an embankment.
British Transport Police said its officers had been called to the scene of the derailment at about 09:43.
A few minutes later, Network Rail tweeted that there had been reports of a landslip at Carmont.
At Carmont, we’ve had reports of a landslip, which means services can’t operate between Dundee & Aberdeen. /2 pic.twitter.com/1E29tKHFhy— Network Rail Scotland (@NetworkRailSCOT) August 12, 2020
The chief executive of Network Rail, Andrew Haines, is cutting short his family holiday in Italy.
He will fly back to the UK on Wednesday afternoon and then head to the site.
NHS Grampian confirmed it was on a “major incident footing”, and ScotRail said it was assisting the emergency services.
Kevin Lindsay, the Scottish organiser for train drivers’ union Aslef, said: “We are aware that this is an extremely serious incident and our thoughts are with everyone involved.”
The RMT union’s Mick Lynch said: “The facts behind this incident will need to be established in due course, but at this stage we are focussed on support and assistance and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy.”