A passenger train derailed in northeast Scotland after stormy weather Wednesday, killing three people and injuring six others, authorities said. The train's driver is believed to be among the dead, but identification has yet to take place, the British Transport Police force said. Six people were hospitalized, the AP reports, but their injuries are not considered serious. A British Transport Police chief said all passengers were thought to be accounted for. "However, once the area has been made safe, then a full and thorough search will be conducted," he said, "which is likely to take some time.'' Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the derailment as a major incident and said she would be convening an emergency response meeting.
Transport police said officers were called about 9:45am to the railway line near the coastal town of Stonehaven, about 100 miles northeast of Edinburgh. Smoke billowed from the wreck. Photos showed that several cars had tumbled down an embankment. Air ambulances and coast guard helicopters came and went as the rescue operation unfolded. Lawmaker Andrew Bowie had been in Stonehaven surveying flood damage earlier Wednesday. "The situation was really bad this morning," he said. "The River Carron, the main river which flows through it, had burst its banks, and the heavy rain had caused flooding in the center of Stonehaven and lots of the side streets leading off it." Bowie added that the water had receded and that it was unclear if flooding was connected to the derailment. Serious train accidents are rare in the UK; the last fatal derailment was in 2007.
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