A “small number” of people have been taken to hospital following a collision between two trains in Salisbury on Sunday evening.
The collision involved a derailed carriage which came off the track upon hitting an object, a second train then crashed into it when signalling was damaged.
Around 100 people were evacuated from the trains and 17 people were treated for injuries, though the majority were uninjured or had sustained minor injuries.
‘Number of people injured’
In a statement late on Sunday night, British Transport Police (BTP) confirmed there were no fatalities in the incident, but a “small number” of people, including the driver of one of the trains, were taken to hospital to have their injuries assessed.
The statement said: “We were called to Fisherton Tunnel in Salisbury at 6.46pm tonight following reports of a train derailment which involved two passenger trains colliding.
“Officers are continuing to respond to the incident alongside our emergency service colleagues and the line is expected to be shut for some time.
“Thankfully there have been no fatalities however a number of people have been injured and a casualty centre has been opened at a nearby church.
The driver of one of the trains has been taken to hospital, he was trapped due to the collision but was freed and taken to hospital by emergency services, his injuries are not reported to be serious.
BTP added that “most of these people are walking wounded.”
Disruption to travel
BTP have warned commuters to avoid the line, as investigations into the cause of the crash continue.
“A major incident has been declared and this has been a large scale, multi-agency response working closely alongside our colleagues in Wiltshire. We will remain on scene throughout the night working to establish the full circumstances of how this incident came to happen,” it said in a statement.
The crash, which occurred at Fisherton Tunnel close to London Road in the city, has led to the closure of the closure SWR trains between Exeter and Basingstoke and GWR trains between Westbury and Portsmouth.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “At around 7pm this evening, the rear carriage of the 1708 Great Western Railway service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads derailed after striking an object on its approach to Salisbury station.
“The derailment knocked out all of the signalling in the area. Subsequently, the 1720 South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Honiton then collided with the Bristol train.”
After the incident unfolded, the derailed train was believed to be on its side, but the South Western Railway (SWR) train was upright.
In a statement, Great Western Railway (GWR) said the railway in the area would remain closed on Monday as “specialist teams continue their investigations”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: “My thoughts go out to those affected by the serious rail incident near Salisbury.”
He said the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and Office of Rail and Road will investigate, adding: “We need to understand how this happened to prevent in the future.”