Monday 17 August 2020

Three dead after landslide leads to train derailment in Scotland.

Three people have died and another six have been hospitalised following a landslide which lead to a train derailment in Scotland. The incident happened on Wednesday 12 August 2020 near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, when a train en route from Aberdeen to Glasgow hit a landslip, causing it to come off the tracks. The train had already been forced to turn back once, having encountered flooding near Carmont, but had been rerouted onto what was thought to be a safe track. The train left the tracks after hitting the landslide, but continued onwards for about another hundred metres, before hitting the parapet of a railway bridge. The locomotive subsequently fell down an embankment at the side of the bridge and caught fire. The second carriage came to rest across the tracks at an angle of 90°, with the third carriage on top of it. The fourth carriage also rolled down the embankment, and the fifth also came to rest on top of the second. Those who died in the accident have been named as the train's driver, Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury. In addition to the injured passengers, two firefighters were injured during the rescue operation and needed hospital treatment.

A rail crash in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, triggered by a landslip on 12 August 2020. BBC.

The landslip was one of a number of incidents caused by heavy rainfall as a series of storms swept across Scotland. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall. On the same day another landslide caused part of the A38 road at Fala Dam near Edinburgh to collapse, and a third landslip caused a 30m section of embankment on the Union Canal near Polmont in Falkirk to collapse, resulting in a major breach of the waterway, which took several days to repair. 

Breach in the embankment of the Union Canal near Polmont in Falkirk, caused by a landslip on 12 August 2020. New Civil Engineer.

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