Bishop’s tribute to victims of rail tragedy which left 10 people dead

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THE Bishop of Doncaster has paid tribute to the victims of a rail disaster which left a borough train driver injured.

A memorial service was held at Hensall Church, Selby, to commemorate those who lost their lives or were injured in the Selby Rail Disaster.

East Coast Railway Chaplain Reverend Stephen Sorby led the service, followed by a short address from Bishop of Doncaster Cyril Ashton, in remembrance of the 10 who died, and the 82 who suffered serious injuries.

Train driving instructor James Hill, from Warmsworth, was among 82 people injured in the disaster at Great Heck in 2001, which claimed the lives of 10 people.

Mr Hill had been teaching a new route to a freight train driver when an express train travelling in the opposite direction was derailed when it ran into a Land Rover.

The four-by-four had veered out of control onto the tracks and the express train, heading towards Doncaster, was in turn deflected into the goods train’s path by some points.

Mr Ashton said: “Today we have an opportunity to commemorate with appropriate dignity those who 10 years ago lost their lives in a train crash and those who were injured, bereaved and broken by that tragic event.

“Today’s readings offer hope beyond tragedy.

“Today is a time to bring healing to the past.

“We applaud the courage of the families in seeking to come to terms with this particular tragedy.”

He paid tribute to the courage of families affected by the tragedy, the generosity of the community and the exemplary conduct of railway chaplains, media, police and emergency services.

Mr Ashton also commended the tireless efforts of medical, ambulance and fire brigade services to preserve and protect life.