Three people including the driver and conductor have dead at the scene of a train derailment in Aberdeenshire.
British Transport Police said another six people had been taken to hospital after the incident in Stonehaven, though their injuries are not believed to be serious.
In a statement, BTP said that although formal identification had not yet taken place, the driver of the train was believed to be among those who had died.
Meanwhile, the RMT union, which represents rail workers, told the PA news agency that the train’s conductor was another victim.
Chief superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “I would like to reassure the public that this was not a busy service, and from CCTV enquiries and witness statements we believe all passengers have been accounted for.
“However, once the area has been made safe then a full and thorough search will be conducted, which is likely to take some time.”
The news comes after the Scottish government declared a “major incident”.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said her “deepest condolences are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident”.
She wrote on Twitter: “I have just been updated by Network Rail and the emergency services on the ongoing operation. My thanks go to them, and my thoughts remain with everyone affected.”
My deepest condolences are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic incident.
I have just been updated by Network Rail and the emergency services on the ongoing operation. My thanks go to them, and my thoughts remain with everyone affected. https://t.co/L73rZTeRFu
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 12, 2020
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said he would visit Stonehaven on Thursday to thank emergency services “and see what assistance we can provide”.
“The safety of passengers and staff is and has always been our upmost priority and we will ensure that lessons are learned from this tragic incident once the Rail...