Salisbury crash: How the community came together

Emergency services staff used the church as a trauma centre. Credit: ITV News

The community came together in Salisbury yesterday, after two trains collided in Fisherton Tunnel leaving multiple passengers injured.

A trauma centre was set up in a nearby church, which opened its doors to the public when the news broke.

St Marks Church found itself at the centre of the rescue effort, becoming a focus point for the "walking wounded".

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Revered Andy Bousfield described the response as 'quite nice' and showed true community spirit.

Locals donated blankets, tea and coffee - as well as their own free time to ensure that those caught up in the accident were safe and well.

13 people were taken to hospital due to their injuries, but many were treated at the church before continuing their journeys. Up to 100 people had to be evacuated from the two services.

Within minutes an appeal was launched on Facebook, which was widely shared around the city.

Staff at Salisbury City Council said they are "shocked and concerned" to hear about the collision, which led to 17 people being injured, adding they have those affected "in their thoughts".

The Mayor of Salisbury, Cllr Caroline Corbin said: "I am truly sorry to hear about the train crash which occurred in our city last night. I am hugely relieved that there were no fatalities and wish those who were injured in the collision a speedy recovery."

The Leader of Wiltshire Council, Richard Clewer, has praised how quickly the local community came together following the incident.

Cllr Clewer said: “My thoughts and those of everyone at Wiltshire Council are with those who were involved in the train derailment yesterday evening. I wish those who were injured a speedy recovery and am grateful that everyone involved is safe. Thank you to the emergency services on site who did a tremendous job ensuring the safety of those on board the trains.

"We know Salisbury residents will always come together and this incident has proven that once again. I’d like to thank the local community for their support and well done to those at St Mark’s for opening their doors and providing a safe space at such short notice."

Almost immediately some from the community arrived with "milk" for teas and coffees, whilst others rang ahead asking what they could do.

Revered Bousfield added that the community really "came together" to help those in need, saying "if a church isn't available during a time of crisis, what is it here for?".

Police officers and emergency responders could be seen inside the church for several hours, as well as being on guard outside so that those in need were not disturbed.

Reverend Bousfield said many involved in the accident just wanted 'some space' to process what had happened, whilst others wanted to chat to someone.

Most importantly, he said, it was a "safe space" to wait before the medical professionals arrived to check on people's condition.