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After Paddington rail crash

Issue No. 1697

After Paddington rail crash

Bosses' binge

RAILTRACK bosses went on a drunken rampage the day after the inquiry into the Paddington crash started last week, according to the Mirror. The rail fat cats went on a 12 hour drinking spree at a country hotel in a "team building" exercise. They demanded a free room and forced a manager to break safety rules by opening a swimming pool at 1.30am. As Len Northcott, whose son died at Paddington, said, "These people think they can get away with anything. "That was why Paddington happened."

Put killers in the dock

"THOSE WHOSE lives have been shattered on the altar of human greed would like a clear message sent to railway company directors: invest those profits in safety or prepare to sacrifice your liberty."

That is how one of the lawyers for the victims and families of last year's Paddington rail crash, which killed 31 people, sums up the anger against the privatised rail companies. Yet the day before the inquiry opened last week it was announced that none of the rail fat cats will be prosecuted.

  • Railtrack admitted it didn't investigate why red signals were passed at danger eight times in the Paddington area.
  • Thames Trains refused to pay �5.26 million for the ATP train protection scheme which could have prevented the crash. In the two years after rejecting the scheme the company paid out a dividend of �7.48 million to shareholders.

As John Hendy QC, acting for the families, said, "It must be said that our clients will not easily forgive those who, to coin a phrase, put profit before safety-those who prefer to run a risk, or rather to let others run a risk, rather than put safety measures in hand which would incur costs and reduce profit."

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Article information

Sat 20 May 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1697
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