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Scotland’s transport secretary Michael Matheson has suggested climate change played a part in the Aberdeenshire train crash, pointing to the “very intense rainfall” in the area.
Officials have pledged to find out what caused a train to derail on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring six others.
The 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service crashed near Stonehaven amid heavy rain and flooding.
Among the dead were the train’s driver, named locally as Brett McCullough, as well as the conductor and a passenger.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Thursday morning, Matheson said it was “reasonable to suggest weather has been a factor” in the crash given the “very intense rainfall” during the night.
“We are expiring an ever increasing number of very localised, intense, weather events that are having an impact on the rail network and the transport network overall,” he said.
Train driver Brett McCullough and conductor Donald Dinnie died in the derailment near Stonehaven, ScotRail’s managing director has confirmed.
The third person who died is believed to have been a passenger on the train.
Matheson will visit the area today, along with UK transport secretary Grant Shapps, and meet members of the emergency services.
Matheson added in a separate BBC interview this morning: “My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by this, particularly to the families and friends of those who were killed in this incident yesterday.
“My thoughts are very much with them and I also hope those injured in the course of this incident are able to make a speedy recovery.”
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines added: “Our climate is changing and it is increasingly challenging the performance and reliability of the railway, but incidents like yesterday’s devastating accident are incredibly rare, and our railway...