INTRODUCTION: An estimated 90 people were killed and at least 100 injured in Australia's worst rail disaster on Tuesday (18 January).
AV: disaster area where train was crushed by bridge. (3 shots)
GV PAN: bridge collapsed on train.
GV: rescue workers try to free victim (2 shots)
SV: injured being carried on stretchers. (2 shots)
SV: injured victims
SV: more injured passengers being carried away. (3 shots)
CU: passenger describing accident.
GV: damaged train
GV: rescuers retrieving victims from the crash (11 shots)
GV AND SV: car being pulled out of wreck and victims carried off. (5 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: MATHESON: "The disaster happened at twelve minutes past eight when the Blue Mountain's Express was nearing the outer Sydney western suburb of Granville. Some reports say the train jumped the tracks about 200 metres west of Granville station hitting the Pylons, causing the 500 ton bridge to topple onto the train. Other reports said it simply collapsed as the Express thundered beneath. Rescuers rushed to the scene and immediately began the task of getting as many people out of the twisted wreckage as quickly as humanly possible. They were hindered in their attempts by high tensioned power lines which were scattered all over the debris. Rescuers used jack hammers, picks, shovels, cranes and their bare hands to reach the trapped victims and one by one they were pulled free, many in intense pain."
SEQ. 8: PASSENGER: "We were just sitting in the train and the next minute there was a bang and she started to rock and then she went over and the front carriage split apart like a sardine tin. How we got out of it, God only knows."
:MATHESON: "The carriage was completely crushed by the huge weight of the bridge. As rescuers worked frantically to reach those trapped under the rubble, police and ambulances stood by waiting to take the dead and injured away. An immediate estimate of those killed is impossible. The train was packed with hundreds of city bound commuters. Bodies were placed on stretchers and lifted up by cranes. Every seat in the third and fourth carriage was occupied. Many were standing. The fourth carriage was a non-smoking compartment, carrying mainly women. Catholic priests from nearby parishes were on hand to administer last rites to the critically injured. Hours after the horror disaster, emergency teams were still engaged in the rescue operations. Ambulance officers who clambered through the debris to reach victims said they could hear voices crying out to lift the slabs from them. But I just couldn't reach them."
EUROVISION SATELLITE TELERECORDING
REPORTER: BARRY MATHESON
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: An estimated 90 people were killed and at least 100 injured in Australia's worst rail disaster on Tuesday (18 January). The accident occurred (about 10 miles (16 Kms) outside of Sydney) when an express train packed with early morning commuters smashed through the supports of a bridge causing concrete slabs to collapse on the wooden carriages.
Barry Matheson was at the scene of the wreckage.