Two rail workers who were killed after being hit by a train in South Wales on Wednesday morning may not have heard the train approaching because they were wearing ear defenders, police have said.
Superintendent Andy Morgan of British Transport Policy said that shortly before 10am police had received a report of a train striking multiple persons on the tracks in Port Talbot and that police units were very quickly on scene, alongside the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Picture courtesy of the RMT
He said: ‘Very sadly, A 58-year-old man from North Connelly and a 64-year-old man from Kenfig Hill were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. A third person was treated for shock but was thankfully uninjured.
‘Our thoughts are with their families as they come to terms with this tragic news’
He added: ‘Following a number of urgent enquiries into this tragic incident, it has been established that the three people were railway workers who were working on the lines at the time.
‘The initial stages of the investigation suggest that the two men who died had been wearing ear defenders at the time, tragically, could not hear the a passenger train approaching.’
Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT said the incident was ‘shocking news’.
He said: ‘RMT is attempting to establish the full facts but our immediate reaction is that this is an appalling tragedy and that no one working on the railway should be placed in the situation that has resulted in the deaths that have been reported this morning.
‘As well as demanding answers from Network Rail, and a suspension of all similar works until the facts are established, the union will be supporting, our members and their families at this time.
‘Our thoughts are with those involved in this incident and their loved ones.’
Bill Kelly, route director, Network Rail Wales, said: ‘We are shocked and distressed to confirm that two members of our team lost their lives today in an accident involving a train. We do not know the details behind this dreadful accident and we are fully co-operating with the British Transport Police and Rail Accident Investigation Branch.
‘Our thoughts are with the families of our colleagues and our members of staff who will be affected by this tragic loss, and we will provide all the support we can.’