Salisbury train crash: 'Wheel slide' most likely cause of collision, say investigators

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"Wheel slide" caused by "low adhesion between the train wheels and the track" is the most likely cause of the Salisbury train crash, investigators say.

More than a dozen people needed hospital treatment and a train driver sustained life-changing injuries after two services collided on Sunday evening.

Andrew Hall, deputy chief inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, said it was pursuing the "low adhesion" theory alongside others.

He said analysis of the train's data recorders, data from the track signals and CCTV footage was ongoing.

"Initial evidence indicates the South Western train driver applied the brakes as it approached the junction in the red signal but the train was unable to stop before passing the signal," said Mr Hall.

People have described being thrown from their seats and seeing "flames".

A woman who was out trick or treating with her family nearby likened the noise of the crash to "a bomb" and "thunder".

Describing the crash, Mr Hall said: "From the initial evidence we've collected, we know the passage of the Great Western Train travelling from Eastleigh across Salisbury tunnel junction was being protected by a red signal.

"At this junction the tracks coming from Eastleigh merge with those coming from Basingstoke, so the South Western service coming from Basingstoke was required to stop at that signal.

"Unfortunately it did not stop and struck the side of the Great Western train at an angle such that both trains derailed and ran alongside each other into the tunnel just beyond the junction."

Around 50 firefighters from Dorset and Wiltshire and Hampshire and Isle of Wight fire and rescue services were called to the scene and evacuated 92 passengers across both trains.

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