Moorgate Tube Train Disaster
At 8.46 on February 28 1975 the 8.39 service from Drayton Park drew into Moorgate Station on time, but rather than slowing as it approached platform 9 the train carried on, accelerated even according to some reports, ploughing through a sand barrier and buffer and ramming into the dead end of the tunnel. The five feet thick tunnel wall met the force of the 1938 rolling-stock train, and the first three carriages concertinaed, bent, split and mixed into a tangle of metal and wood.
Forty three people died in the crash which to this day remains unexplained. Some were killed by the impact of the collision itself, others suffocated in the crush of bodies piled together.
Leslie Newson, the 56-year-old driver, was in good health. No evidence of stroke or heart attack was found when his body was finally recovered after more than four days. He had small traces of alcohol in his system, but was not known as a drinker, and these may have come from fermentation after the accident. He was not known to be depressed, and had the happy prospect of spending £300 on a car for his daughter later in the day, the cash sitting in his pocket. Yet he was seen staring ahead, not moving, as the train approached the dead end. He did not even put his hands up to protect himself, as instinct would dictate, with the wall in his view, nor did he lift his hand from the so-called dead-man's handle safety device.
The rescue and recovery mission that day was described, for once without hyperbole, as hellish by doctors involved. The bodies were as tangled as the wreckage; and in the tunnel the temperature soared to an estimated 120 centigrade. A 19-year-old policewoman travelling in the first carriage had to have her foot amputated on the spot; and the last survivor was only extracted at 10 in the evening, 15 hours after the horror began.
Improvements to safety were made after the accident, though the cause was never determined: it is possible Newson had a rare type of seizure that froze him in place; it is equally possible that against type he had committed suicide. It is highly unlikely, however, that the event will ever be satisfactorily explained.
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From dj on 6th August 2012
I can remember this very well occurring,I believe that train D272 was being serviced the night before so is it a possibility that the driver took the wrong train from the sidings, Where is the proof to say that D272 was cleared to be continued to go into service, as there was a point mentioned that the marker (lollipop)was not shown at the time, Reading through the book they mentioned that one of the dummy cars 12167 or 12263 was losing fluid This may also be a clue to the accident!Something should be done as it's a disgrace that our Government have done nothing to give us the true proper answers as to what did go wrong that morning & why. Another coverup story!
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