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Families of Train Derailment Victims Supported

26 July 2002

Tranz Rail Supports Families of Train Derailment Victims

Tranz Rail is giving its full support to the families of staff involved in a fatal derailment near Stratford early this morning.

A locomotive engineer was killed and his assistant seriously injured in the accident that occurred about 40 kms north east of Stratford in Taranaki.

Tranz Rail Managing Director Michael Beard said from the accident scene that he offered his personal and the company’s sympathies to both families and said support was being given by the company.

“Tranz Rail management and staff offer their sympathies to the families of our colleagues and we will make sure that they receive full support,” he said. “Our focus is on making sure that we do everything we can for the families in these circumstances. We also wish our injured staff member a speedy and full recovery.”

Tranz Rail says detailed investigations are now underway including the recovery of the train’s black box.

Representatives of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, Land Transport Safety Authority and Occupational Safety and Health were on the way to the scene with police also in attendance.

Mr Beard said it was inappropriate to speculate on any possible causes until such time as detailed investigations were complete.

The derailment of the Auckland to Stratford freight train occurred around 2am this morning. The train consisted of two locomotives and 30 wagons.

Ends

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