UK: Rail company fined �3m for Potters Bar tragedy

Potters Bar: Network Rail (NR) has been fined �3million today for safety failings over the 2002 Potters Bar train crash which claimed seven lives.

NR had admitted breaching health and safety regulations in the May 2002 Hertfordshire disaster.

Its predecessor company Railtrack was the infrastructure company in charge at the time of the crash but NR has shouldered the responsibility.

The prosecution, at St Albans Crown Court under the Health and Safety at Work Act, was brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

The now in-administration maintenance company Jarvis, which was responsible for the section of track at Potters Bar, also faced prosecution but the ORR decided in March not to proceed as the prosecution was “no longer in the public interest”.

Six passengers - Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Jonael Schickler, Alexander Ogunwusi, Chia Hsin Lin and Chia Chin Wu - were killed in the crash on May 10 2002.

They were on a West Anglia Great Northern express train travelling from London to King’s Lynn in Norfolk which derailed at a faulty set of points just outside Potters Bar station.

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The seventh victim was Agnes Quinlivan, 80, who was walking nearby and died after she was hit by debris.

NR admitted failings over the installation, maintenance and inspection of adjustable stretcher bars which keep the moveable section of a track at the correct width for train wheels.