RMT Response To Runaway Tube Train Fines
London Underground, Tubelines and Schweerbau GMBH have been fined £300,000 having plead guilty in court to endangering safety following the 2010 runaway train incident.
The incident occurred when a defective maintenance train was being towed. The trains became separated and the defective wagon rolled through seven stations of speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, coming within 600m of a passenger train. The quick response of control room staff prevented what judge Richard Hone told the court: “was the potential of terrible tragedy.”
Bob Crow – RMT General Secretary – said: “This shocking incident, which could very easily have resulted in a major tragedy and loss of life as the runaway grinder hurtled after a passenger train, should continue to serve as a wake-up call to London Underground and Boris Johnson nearly two and half years on.
"The reports of what happened on that day will still send a shiver down the spine of tube users and no one should underestimate the role played by a fast-acting tube driver in saving lives as the grinder chased behind the train. Against that background the dangerous talk of driverless operation should stop right now.
“This near miss, where tragedy was only avoided by a few hundred metres, underlines the importance of maintaining the highest possible safety standards on the tube where no one is put under any pressure to cut corners – and yet that is exactly the pressure our members are under right now with maintenance and staffing cuts still on the agenda.
The runaway grinder incident back in August 2010, and today's court outcome, reinforces RMT’s case for a halt to the on-going cuts process to jobs and maintenance schedules that is undermining and diluting safety procedures across the tube network and which continue to create the perfect conditions for a major disaster.”
The BBC reports that LU director Mike Strzelecki said tube bosses have put in place tighter approvals and controls for the design and use of all engineering trains and that "LU staff's swift actions meant that this incident was drawn to a safe conclusion,"
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