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Galashiels couple "thankful" to return from Indian rail crash

Ian and Helen Calder Credit: Helen Calder

A Galashiels couple on board an Indian train that derailed say they are thankful to be back home after the ordeal.

Ian and Helen Calder were on the trip of a lifetime when the train they were travelling on came off the tracks.

Two British women died and others were injured.

There was 15 of us in that carriage, most of them were catapulted out their seats, were flying in all directions. Some left the train out the windows.

One gentleman that was travelling next to us, he went up in the air and Ian managed to catch him as he was going out the window and I grabbed hold of him as well, and we managed to pull him back onto our knee.

He certainly saved us I think because the weight of him on top of us held us but he sustained quite serious head injuries. We are very thankful, very lucky to be home."

– Helen Calder


Galashiels couple survive Indian rail crash

The Galashiels couple survived Indian rail crash Credit: PA

A couple from Galashiels are on their way back to the Borders after surviving a train crash during a dream holiday to India.

Helen and Ian Calder, who own the Salmon Inn public house in Galashiels, escaped serious injury after managing to clamber free from the wreckage.

Two other British holidaymakers died when the train came off the tracks on Saturday as it travelled from Kalka to the Himalayan town of Shimla as part of an organised tour.

There were 36 passengers plus their tour manager on the service, which was being operated by York-based company Great Rail Journeys. They were on their third day of a 3 week trip.

Sixty year old Ian had x-rays of his back and shoulders and both he and Helen are said to be traumatised at what happened. The couple are due back in the UK on Tuesday evening.

Sister of man trapped in India: "He'll be home for Christmas"

The sister of a Wigton man who's been trapped in India for nearly 2 years says she hopes he'll be back in time for Christmas.

John Armstrong has been unable to leave India since he was arrested in October 2013.

His friends held a charity rugby match that has raised hundreds of pounds to help him fight his legal case.

Mr Armstrong was working as an anti-piracy guard, transitioning ships through a high risk part of the Indian Ocean.

The Indian authorities say the ship he was travelling in had been illegally sailing in Indian waters, something Mr Armstrong and five other British men who were also arrested, deny.

His trial is due to start in two weeks' time.

His sister, Joanne Thomlinson, says the family are expecting it to take months but are hopeful he will be cleared.

Cumbrian man's trial in India hit by delay

John Armstrong. Credit: ITV Border

The trial of a Cumbrian man in India has been hit by a further delay.

John Armstrong, and five other British men, were arrested for suspected weapons offences in October 2013, while working as anti-piracy guards.

The charges against them were dropped, but an appeal from the Indian police was upheld.

The men were due in court today to enter a plea, and possibly get a date for the trial.

However, ITV Border understands that after a 13-hour bus trip to the court, the men were told they will have to return on Friday (7 August).

It's because a crew member from India (who is amongst those accused) did not show up to the hearing.


Cream tea to help bring Wigton man home from India

John Armstrong Credit: ITV Border

A cream tea is being held in Wigton today, to help bring a Cumbrian man home from India.

John Armstrong was arrested for suspected weapons offences in October 2013, while working as an anti-piracy guard in the Indian Ocean.

The charges against him, and five other men, were dropped, but the Indian police appealed, and the men will now have to stand trial.

Today is John's birthday, and it's hoped the cream tea, which is being put on by his sister, Joanne Thomlinson, will raise money, and awareness.

Find out more about the story here.

Watch: sister speaks out about India trial

Joanne Thomlinson is speaking out, after learning that her brother is going to be standing trial in India.

John Armstrong was working as an anti-piracy guard in the Indian Ocean when he, and five other Brits, were arrested under suspicion of weapons offences.

The charges were dropped, but the Indian police force appealed the decision, and the men will now have to stand trial.

Watch Joanne's first TV interview, since she learned the news:

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