Network Rail fined over death

by Emily DUNBAR on April 4, 2012

Network Rail has been hit with a fine of over £4m due to its involvement in the Grayrigg crash in Cumbria that saw a woman die and in excess of 80 people left with injuries.

Margaret Masson, aged 84 and of Glasgow, lost her life after the Virgin train she was on derailed on the busy West Coast Main Line more than five years ago in February 2007. The vehicle careered down and embankment after going over a set of points while travelling at over 90mph, leaving 88 people hurt – two of which were train crew members.

Network Rail admitted to breaching health and safety regulations under section 3(1) of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act in February and received sentencing at Preston Crown Court. David Higgins, Network Rail’s chief executive, described the crash as a terrible event and added that the organisation took full responsibility after realising that its infrastructure was at fault.

Higgins then went on to say that no amount of money will lessen the pain that is felt everyday by Mrs Masson’s family but insisted that Network Rail has strived to make sure such incidents won’t occur in the future as the outfit has learnt from its mistakes and has recognised what went wrong before putting things right.

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