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Clapham rail crash

The Clapham Junction rail crash was a multiple train collision just outside Clapham Junction railway station in London that occurred at 08:10 on 12 December 1988.

A crowded passenger train crashed into the rear of another train that had stopped at a signal, and an empty train, travelling in the other direction, crashed into the debris. Thirty-five people died and five hundred were injured.

The collision was caused by a signal failure due to a wiring fault. New wiring had been installed, but the old wiring had been left connected at one end, and loose and uninsulated at the other.

An independent inquiry, chaired by Anthony Hidden, QC, found that the signaling technician responsible had not been told his working practices were wrong and his work had not been inspected by an independent person. He had also worked a seven day week for the previous thirteen weeks. British Rail was fined £250,000 under Health and Safety regulations.

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