Published: 05/09/2012 11:00 - Updated: 05/09/2012 11:23

Police probe continues in train tragedy

Written byBy Will Clark

Emergency vehicles raced to Thurso rail station after the tragedy was discovered.
Emergency vehicles raced to Thurso rail station after the tragedy was discovered.

A PROBE was continuing yesterday into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man who was run over by a train in Caithness.

The man who was in his early 30s, had not been named at the time of going to press. He suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by the train on the afternoon service between Wick and Inverness on Friday, on the outskirts of Thurso.

Network Rail staff were called to the scene along with officers from Northern Constabulary and the British Transport Police (BTS).

A spokeswoman for BTS said that inquiries are continuing into the incident though it is not being treated as suspicious.

She said: "Around 4.30pm, officers from BTP and Northern Constabulary were called to the railway line close to Thurso rail station, after a man was struck and killed by a train," she said.

"There would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a full report will be submitted to the local procurator fiscal."

The collision occurred on the sweeping bend before the approach to the station. After the impact, the two-carriage Sprinter ground to a halt 100 metres or so down the line.

Firefighters from Thurso were called out to help recover the remains and also to help move passengers from the train to the station.

Ambulance staff were also present with the man being declared dead at the scene.

When the incident occurred, Network Rail immediately shut down rail services between Thurso and Inverness while the incident was being investigated by police officers.

ScotRail arranged for replacement buses to take passengers who were affected by the delay to take them to their destinations.

The far north line was re-opened at 9pm.

Police have meanwhile issued an appeal for witnesses to a disturbance that allegedly involved a man wielding a knife in the same area one hour before the railway incident.

The reported disturbance was believed to have involved two males at around 3.30pm on Friday at the side of the River Thurso, next to the cemetery and upstream from an area known as the Fiscal’s Pool.

Police say that they are very keen to trace a young male who was within the area at the time who may have seen what happened.

Thurso-based Sgt Donnie MacDonald said that inquiries were ongoing but could not confirm if both incidents were linked.

"We can’t confirm if both incidents were linked as there has been no official identification carried out on the person that was struck by the train," he said.

"Once the identification has been carried out, we will have to notify next of kin before we can make information public.

"All we can confirm is that investigations are still ongoing into both incidents."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Thurso Police on 01847 893 222. Information can also be left anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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