LONDON, United States (AFP) — A passenger train derailed in northeast Scotland on Wednesday, with reports of “serious injuries” in what First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described as “an extremely serious incident”.
The crash, close to the town of Stonehaven around 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Aberdeen, followed severe flooding across parts of the region overnight.
Smoke could be seen rising from the scene in pictures broadcast on television news channels.
“The emergency services are currently on site and a major incident has been declared,” Sturgeon said.
“I am afraid to say that there are early reports of serious injuries,” she added, after earlier noting on Twitter it was an “extremely serious incident”.
Some 30 emergency vehicles were attending the scene of the derailment which happened at 9:40am (08:40 GMT).
Network Rail Scotland, the company which looks after the rail infrastructure, said it was working alongside emergency services.
“It is too early to confirm the exact nature and severity of the incident and more details will be made available once known,” it said.
Local MP Andrew Bowie said a “major emergency service response” was underway and he had spoken to the British transport minister, Grant Shapps, about the incident.
“Thoughts with every single person involved,” tweeted Bowie.
Thunderstorms and torrential rain had battered parts of central and eastern Scotland overnight.
© Agence France-Presse