STONEHAVEN, Scotland (News Nation) — A passenger train derailed in northeast Scotland, killing three people and injuring six others Wednesday, authorities said.
“Very sadly, despite the best efforts of paramedics, we can confirm that three people have been pronounced dead at the scene,’’ said the British Transport Police in a statement. The train’s driver is believed to be among the dead, but formal identification has yet to take place. Six people were hospitalized.
Television footage showed dark smoke billowing from a forested area near Stonehaven, a town 9 miles south of the oil city of Aberdeen, after the ScotRail train derailed following heavy rain overnight.
Two air ambulances and about 30 emergency service vehicles could be seen in a field just above the site of the derailment, which appeared to be difficult to access.
“My deepest condolences are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident,” said Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, “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.”
Police were called at 9:40 a.m. (local time) to a railroad line near the coastal town of Stonehaven, which is on the line for trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The hilly area was hit by storms and flash flooding overnight.
Local lawmaker Andrew Bowie had been in Stonehaven surveying flood damage earlier Wednesday.
“The situation was really bad this morning. The River Carron, the main river which flows through it, had burst its banks, and the heavy rain had caused flooding in the center of Stonehaven and lots of the side streets leading off it,″ he said.
Bowie added that the water had receded and it was unclear if flooding was connected to the derailment.
“I don’t think speculation is helpful at this stage,″ he said. “We obviously don’t know why the derailment took place, but obviously we have suffered terrible weather here.”
The country’s last fatal derailment was in 2007.
Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless reporting for the Associated Press.
Russell Cheyne reporting for Reuters.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.