1. ITV Report

Anniversary marks 25 years since 35 were killed

The aftermath of the Clapham Junction crash in 1998, thirty-five people died Photo: PA Images

It was 25 years ago today the region saw its worst tragedy of recent times. Three trains crashed at Clapham, South London, resulting in the deaths of 35 people with 500 hurt, many seriously.

The cause was a wiring fault with a signal which meant a train from Poole crashed into the back of another from Basingstoke at 35mph. Fifteen hundred commuters from the south were on the trains. Both trains were heading to Waterloo.

Carriages were thrown into the air and easily broke up in the rush hour crash at 8.10am on the approach to Clapham Junction Station.

A third train heading to Haslemere in Surrey crashed into the wreckage adding to the number of people killed and injured. It was empty and had no passengers.

A signal had been wrongly wired which allowed the train from Poole to keep running. The driver, John Rolls, from Bournemouth did all he could to stop his train but it was too late. He was one of those who died.

It was later revealed the error was carried out by a member of staff who only had one day off in 13 weeks. The public inquiry into the as accident came up with 93 recommendations to ensure better supervision of staff and work was checked and declared safe. Strict limits were put on overtime. British Rail was fined £250,000 for health and safety breaches.

Other recommendations included a system to stop trains passing red signals, measures to make trains stronger, black boxes and better communications between drivers and the signal box.

The vast majority have been put in place but took the best part of 20 years with Government spending limits and delays with the ordering of new trains the big issue.

Critics claimed that delays to improvements meant other crashes like Southall and Ladbroke Grove could have been avoided.

Network Rail insist that safety is the top priority and a 'safety first' culture is the most important thing.