Queen heartbreak: Her Majesty sends emotional message after Stonehaven rail tragedy

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THE QUEEN has issued a heartfelt message to those affected by the Stonehaven train derailment tragedy in which three people died on Wednesday.

Queen Elizabeth II, 94, has said her thoughts our with those affected by the tragic rail accident that killed three people near Stonehaven on Wednesday. The Queen, who has been based at her Aberdeenshire royal residence Balmoral since last week, shared an emotional message of condolence.

The message was shared via the Royal Family’s Twitter account, in a Tweet that read: “The Queen has sent a message of condolence to the Lord-Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, following the train crash near Stonehaven.”

The Queen’s full message read: “It was with great sadness that I heard of the train derailment earlier today in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

“The Duke of Edinburgh and the entire Royal Family join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to to the families of those who have died and those who have been injured”.

The Royal Family has strong links with Scotland and have spent their summers in Aberdeenshire since Queen Victoria’s reign.

Queen heartbreak: Queen sends emotional message after Stonehaven rail tragedy

Queen heartbreak: Queen sends emotional message after Stonehaven rail tragedy (Image: GETTY)

Queen heartbreak

Queen heartbreak: The Queen has shared her condolences (Image: Twitter)

What happened at Stonehaven?

Three people, including the driver, died after a passenger train derailed in Aberdeenshire.

The train conductor was also among those killed in the incident near Stonehaven, according to the RMT union.

The third person who died in the Stonehaven train derailment was a passenger, operator ScotRail said, alongside the driver and conductor

Six people were taken to hospital following the crash, although their injuries are not believed to be serious.

Queen heartbreak

Queen heartbreak: the site of the crash in Aberdeenshire (Image: GETTY)

What caused the incident?

The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation, however, it is believed heavy rain may have been a key factor in the crash.

A rail industry source told the BBC the 06:38 service from Aberdeen to Glasgow was initially halted because of flooding on the line.

The driver apparently contacted control to ask permission to switch tracks.

The train  is then understood to have reversed and switched to clearer tracks before continuing on its route to Glasgow which is when it is thought the train hit a landslide and derailed.

The train is thought to have encountered two landslides on tracks, following a night of thunderstorms and torrential rain.

When the driver saw the first landslide it is believed that he managed to stop in time to avoid a collision. It was when he was returning to Aberdeen, after finding the track blocked, that he hit a second “at speed”, a rail industry source told The Daily Telegraph.

Stonehaven is a coastal town in north east Scotland with a population of nearly 12,000.

The crash happened accident  at approximately 09:40am  near Carmont, west of Stonehaven.

Queen heartbreak

Queen heartbreak: The cause of the crash remains under investigation (Image: GETTY)

Nicola Sturgeon shares her condolences

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed her “deepest condolences” to the loved ones of those who lost their lives in the “tragic incident”.

She said: “My thoughts remain with everyone affected.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC the crash was especially shocking because “these accidents on the railways are thankfully so rare”.

“Our thoughts are very much with those who have lost their lives and their families and, of course, those that have been injured in the derailment,” he added.

“Clearly the most important thing now is that the British Transport Police, who are in charge of the investigation, find out exactly what happened and we all work together to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK