Rail services 'restored in morning'
NETWORK Rail hopes to restore a full service by tomorrow morning's rush hour after an accident involving three workers this afternoon.
NETWORK Rail have said they hope to have power lines in Essex restored in time for the morning rush following delays to emergency works after an accident involving three workers this afternoon.
All train services between Shenfield and Colchester were suspended for nearly two hours after three engineers working to repair overhead lines were injured in a freak accident.
The accident happened on a one mile stretch of track between Margaretting and Ingatestone but trains were able to continue on their journeys at 3.30pm after the workers had been air lifted to hospital.
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National Express East Anglia said at 4.30pm that the one hour thirty minute delay was causing disruption to their evening services and workers in London were warned they faced long delays.
An air ambulance took two engineers with serious injuries to the Queens Hospital, Romford after equipment fell on them. Another man, thought to be working in the equipment that fell, has sustained minor injuries.
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Trains trying to get into Suffolk and Essex were stranded as a consequence of the accident while emergency services used both lines to get access to the patients.
Inspectors are now in the process of carrying out a full investigation into the accident near Ingatestone, meaning the train operators estimation this afternoon of the works being finished by 8pm cannot be met.
Latest reports from Network Rail suggest they may be able to commence work again by 10pm, leaving them a tight deadline of 6am - the length of work required still - to prevent a fourth day of disruptions along the line.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are hoping to resume work tonight so we have the line restored by the morning peak.
“We will probably start work at around 10pm and that is enough time to get the job finished by 6am - that is the plan now.
“It includes time to move the equipment onto site again as we have to change it after today.”
He added the “freak accident” involved a cherry picker that two workers were standing on falling 15 ft onto another worker.
Remarkably he said no-one had sustained life-threatening injuries, although two men are being treated in hospital tonight for serious injuries.
Inspectors are understood to have arrived at the scene of the fall at about 3.30pm but the clearance is expected to take some time.
A spokesman for National Express East Anglia said: “Unfortunately there has been an accident with some of the workers repairing equipment so work is currently suspended at the moment until the site is declared safe.
“We had to shut down the line for an hour and a half from just before 2pm till 3.30pm.
An investigation is still being carried out on the work site but we can carry on running trains on the other line.
“We are now running the same reduced service we were running throughout the repair works.”
He added: “There will be some disruption to services as a consequence of the accident.”
An East of England Ambulance spokeswoman said: “Two people have bee injured and both have been taken to a local hospital by air ambulance.
“One of them is middle aged and has head, chest and leg injuries. One of was laying between the tracks and was long boarded.
“The air ambulance took one patient to hospital and then came back for the other one.”
British Transport Police (BTP) dealt with the accident and deployed officers to the major stations to deal with the crowd congestion.
“The incident occurred at 2.10pm between Ingatestone and Shenfield, in the Margretting area with three rail workers working on overhead lines involved,” a spokesperson said. “It appears that the equipment they were using has fell and they fell to the ground.
“Two men have serious injuries and one man has minor injuries. All the men have been taken to Queens Hospital, Romford.”
He added they were now carrying out the investigation with the Railway Accident Investigation branch.
Essex police were also involved in the operation.
For full reaction to the days events see tomorrows paper.