Widespread shock following Derry rail track death

There is widespread shock in the community following the tragic death in the railway tracks in the city this morning, local representatives have said.

Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 1:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 2:14 pm
Ambulance and Council personnel gathered at the cordon close to the train at the bottom of St Columb's Park.

Forensic officers in white boiler suits were witnessed examining the scene following the tragedy.

Cordons have been erected at the bottom of St Columb’s Park and along the Waterside walk and cycle path, which runs along side the train track.

Translink Infrastructure Division staff, Ambulance personnel and PSNI officers were witnessed at the cordon close to the train today, along with Derry & Strabane Council Parks & leisure staff.

Scene of the incident on the Derry to Belfast railway line. DER3616GS004

Police have launched an investigation into the sudden death, which occurred close to Caw Park in Derry.

The circumstances surrounding the tragedy are under investigation, and no official details have been released as to the identity, or even the gender, of the person who has died at this stage.

The Derry line has been closed and passengers travelling to the city today are being routed onto buses at Coleraine this afternoon.

Some passengers expressed sadness on arrival at Waterside Station this afternoon.

Scene of the incident on the Derry to Belfast railway line. DER3616GS004

One passenger said: “This is just awful. You just think of a family getting this news today.”

Meanwhile local MLAs and Councillors have said there is widespread shock in the local community.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said: “News that a person has died following an incident on the railway line in Derry close to Caw Park has shocked the local community.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at this sad time.”

SDLP Waterside Councillor Martin Reilly said: “This is a very shocking incident on a very busy train line, and people will be shocked to learn of this death.

“It is not clear at this stage what the circumstances are but our condolences go out to the bereaved person’s family at this tragic time.”

UUP Councillor Mary Hamilton meanwhile said: “This is horrific- it just doesn’t bear thinking about.

“My sincere sympathies are with the family and also with the poor driver and all the passengers who were on the train as well.”

The PSNI said the rail line “has been closed following the incident and is expected to remain closed for some time”.

The Derry train is halted on the tracks near St Columb’s Park, a short distance from the Waterside Railway Station.

A Translink spokesperson said: “We can confirm that an incident has occurred along the Railway line this morning.

“The line is now closed and the PSNI is at the scene.

“A bus substitution service will be in place between Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry until further notice.”