How long might it take to reopen the line near Stonehaven?

Millisle

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Looks like an agency turf war again, especially if BTP and Police Scotland are doing separate investigations into the same thing, let alone the others.

One wonders why the back power car, which didn't even derail apparently, is so carefully extracted and taken to Glasgow.
The Lord Advocate instructed Police Scotland, BTP and ORR to carry out a joint investigation under the direction of the Crown Office, which he heads.
 
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DavidB

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The Lord Advocate instructed Police Scotland, BTP and ORR to carry out a joint investigation under the direction of the Crown Office, which he heads.
It has to be wondered what the point of this is.

The very reason that RAIB was set up was because rail accident investigation is very specialised, and normal police forces did not normally have the required expertise.

Why not just leave it to RAIB, working with the other bodies where necessary?
 

DavidB

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Because any time someone is killed at work in Scotland, there has to be a Fatal Accident Inquiry - which the RAIB isn't accredited to perform.
So why not have the police working with RAIB? What point in a separate enquiry when RAIB are the ones with the relevant expertise?
 

takno

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So why not have the police working with RAIB? What point in a separate enquiry when RAIB are the ones with the relevant expertise?
In practice these things don't result in a massive duplication of effort. There will be a lot of sharing of resources at a technical level. I think it's more a question of focus in the reporting as anything else. RAIB are the recognised experts and have a clear mandate to get in there and find out what happened, primarily in order to prevent it from happening again. The police, procurator and ORR have a primary focus on any criminal liability arising from the incident.
 

A Challenge

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Because any time someone is killed at work in Scotland, there has to be a Fatal Accident Inquiry - which the RAIB isn't accredited to perform.
Why can't the RAIB perform fatal accident inquiries, after all whenever there is a fatal accident on the railway they investigate?
 

Elwyn

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Scotland doesn’t have inquests with a Coroner, as would be the case in England and elsewhere. In many cases in Scotland the police submit a report on a sudden death to the Procurator Fiscal and that’s the end of the matter. In more serious cases, as here, there is a Fatal Accident Enquiry under a Sheriff which has a different focus to the RAIB investigation.
 

matchmaker

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Scotland doesn’t have inquests with a Coroner, as would be the case in England and elsewhere. In many cases in Scotland the police submit a report on a sudden death to the Procurator Fiscal and that’s the end of the matter. In more serious cases, as here, there is a Fatal Accident Enquiry under a Sheriff which has a different focus to the RAIB investigation.
It is likely that the mandatory FAI will be after the RAIB enquiry and report, so that the findings will be available. That's my experience, although it was an FAI following a plane crash and the subsequent AAIB enquiry and report.

As an aside - many years ago I was standing outside Dumbarton Sheriff Court (where I worked) when a wee Glasgow punter wandered up to me and said "Haw, Jimmy, where's yun Fatal Death Inquiry?"
 

najaB

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It is likely that the mandatory FAI will be after the RAIB enquiry and report, so that the findings will be available. That's my experience, although it was an FAI following a plane crash and the subsequent AAIB enquiry and report.
Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if the first action of the FAI is to adjourn until the RAIB report is available.
 

najaB

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It is more likely that the FAI will not commence until the RAIB report is available. There's no point in starting and adjourning an FAI - a waste of court time and resources.
I thought that a preliminary hearing was required to be held "as soon as practicable" after the death occurred (or language to that effect)?
 

marks87

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I thought that a preliminary hearing was required to be held "as soon as practicable" after the death occurred (or language to that effect)?
I don't think that's a requirement.

The FAI into the Clutha helicopter crash wasn't even announced until nearly 4 years later.
 

najaB

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The FAI into the Clutha helicopter crash wasn't even announced until nearly 4 years later.
While the date wouldn't have been announced, it's mandatory to hold a FAI if someone is killed in the course of their work.

I am more than likely wrong, but I was under the impression that the body couldn't be released for burial until a death certificate had been issued and that the death certificate wouldn't be issued until a determination had been made if an inquiry would be needed or not. Having made the determination that the inquiry would be required, the Procurator Fiscal would instruct the Sheriff that there would be a FAI, and it's up to the Sheriff to decide if to hold a preliminary hearing or progress directly to the inquest.

So, in this case the Sheriff will hold a purely formal preliminary hearing that would have set the date of the Inquest "after the RAIB report is available" - though I can see how I would've made sense to not even have the hearing.
 

matchmaker

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I don't think that's a requirement.

The FAI into the Clutha helicopter crash wasn't even announced until nearly 4 years later.

While the date wouldn't have been announced, it's mandatory to hold a FAI if someone is killed in the course of their work.

I am more than likely wrong, but I was under the impression that the body couldn't be released for burial until a death certificate had been issued and that the death certificate wouldn't be issued until a determination had been made if an inquiry would be needed or not. Having made the determination that the inquiry would be required, the Procurator Fiscal would instruct the Sheriff that there would be a FAI, and it's up to the Sheriff to decide if to hold a preliminary hearing or progress directly to the inquest.

So, in this case the Sheriff will hold a purely formal preliminary hearing that would have set the date of the Inquest "after the RAIB report is available" - though I can see how I would've made sense to not even have the hearing.
I think that you are overthinking this...:D It's up to a doctor to issue a death certificate. That won't be held up by anything other than a post mortem examination to determine the cause(s) of death. Two of the deceased in the Carmont disaster were definitely acting in the course of their employment so an FAI is mandatory.

In due course the Fiscal will request a date for the FAI from the Sheriff Clerk. There may be a Preliminary Hearing. The legislation is the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016 and the relevant section is s15:

Act

When the FAI takes place I'd take a guess that it will be held in Aberdeen, rather than Stonehaven - a lot more space plus more courtrooms.
 

gsnedders

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So why not have the police working with RAIB? What point in a separate enquiry when RAIB are the ones with the relevant expertise?
You don't want people to be incentivised to withhold information from the RAIB. There have been numerous investigations into safety critical failures (be it AAIB, RAIB, MAIB or their international equivalents) where staff involved have been willing to come forward and voice their concerns to the investigation, and where that has been a significant source of information. If coming forward could potentially lead to legal ramifications, you strongly disincentivise people from coming forward, which then makes it harder for the RAIB to under the root causes and recommend changes that make it less likely to be repeated.
 

DavidB

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You don't want people to be incentivised to withhold information from the RAIB. There have been numerous investigations into safety critical failures (be it AAIB, RAIB, MAIB or their international equivalents) where staff involved have been willing to come forward and voice their concerns to the investigation, and where that has been a significant source of information. If coming forward could potentially lead to legal ramifications, you strongly disincentivise people from coming forward, which then makes it harder for the RAIB to under the root causes and recommend changes that make it less likely to be repeated.
Afraid I don't see that - if they gave information to RAIB which they then didn't give to the police investigators they could end up in a lot more trouble!
 

najaB

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Afraid I don't see that - if they gave information to RAIB which they then didn't give to the police investigators they could end up in a lot more trouble!
That's exactly the point. There might be information which they wouldn't share with a combined RIAB/Police investigation for risk of getting themselves or someone else into criminal bother. That's why incident reporting systems allow people to submit information anonymously.
 

swt_passenger

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Afraid I don't see that - if they gave information to RAIB which they then didn't give to the police investigators they could end up in a lot more trouble!
From RAIB:
The RAIB’s investigations are entirely independent from any industry or judicial investigations, and are focused solely on safety improvement.

By law, the RAIB must not at any time disclose to anyone else, including the police, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), your employer or any other enforcing authority, personal details about you in connection with any information that you give us in your statement, unless we are compelled to do so by a Court Order.

 

najaB

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That’s all very nice and theoretical, but if a driver admitted something to RAIB its going to be pretty obvious it’s the driver and the police would know exactly where to focus their search for proof.
True. It's more intended for whistle-blowers (e.g. a maintenance worker who reports that procedures are being skipped) rather than individuals directly involved in an incident.
 

Meerkat

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True. It's more intended for whistle-blowers (e.g. a maintenance worker who reports that procedures are being skipped) rather than individuals directly involved in an incident.
And TBF that’s the key bit for the RAIB - preventing reoccurrence rather than punishing anyone.
 

moggie

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As has been stated above RAIB's role is to establish the technical and procedural facts that lead to an incident and make recommendations to the parties involved of improvements which should be made to avoid repetition. Specifically RAIB state in all their reports that is NOT their role to apportion blame.

The police / ORR and their governing agencies however do have a duty to investigate the events for criminal (person or corporate) acts and where appropriate, again through the relevant agencies prosecution of the alleged offenders. Hence it is often the case in rail accidents that investigation and evidence gathering is entirely separate from RAIB's deliberations. Of course it must be the case that contradictions in conclusions drawn between a criminal act investigation and RAIB's technical investigation would need some explaining.

I may be mistaken but wasn't there a fairly recent situation in the case of the Conductor prosecuted by the CPS for the death of a young girl on the Merseyrail system where the case against the member of train crew was later undermined somewhat by the subsequent RAIB report? Not enough to overturn the original conviction though.
 

Morayshire

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From the track, yes. Front power car is due to leave the site on a low-loader today.
BBC reporting last carriage removed from site. Hope link works as posting using phone

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-54236334


The last of the carriages has now been removed from the site of the train derailment in Aberdeenshire which claimed three lives.
Driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died on 12 August.

The Aberdeen to Glasgow service hit rocks and gravel washed onto the line after heavy rain.

The necessary repairs at the scene are in the process of being assessed.
Significant damage was caused, including to the track.
Network Rail hopes to be able to detail the work required, and timescales, later this week.

An interim report from Network Rail said the impact of climate change on its network "is an area that is accelerating faster than our assumptions".

The report also suggested that industry rules for reporting and responding to heavy rainfall should be improved.
 

Manclion

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Pretty crass that Grant Shapps compared the scene to 'a hornby train set being thrown into the air'.
Unhelpful to say the least imo.
 

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