Paddington rail crash remembered 20 years on

Photo: Toby Melville/PA Wire

A service is to be held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Paddington train crash which killed 31 people.

A total of 31 people died and a further 220 injured when two trains collided almost head-on before 08:10 BST on October 5, 1999.

The subsequent inquiry found the Thames Trains service travelling from Paddington to Bedwyn in Wiltshire had gone through a red signal.

It then crashed into the London-bound high-speed First Great Western train which had left Cheltenham Spa in Gloucestershire at 06:03.

The Thames driver, Michael Hodder, 31, and the other train driver, Brian Cooper, 52, were among those killed as the collision led to a fireball in which coach H was burnt out.

Photo: Toby Melville/PA Wire

On Saturday, October 5, floral tributes will be laid at the memorial garden overlooking the railway line at Ladbroke Grove at 8am. A service will then be held at St Helen’s Church in St Helens Gardens, North Kensington, London from 11am.

Here, 31 candles will be lit in memory of the victims while a 32nd candle will be lit for the survivors. Each of the 31 candles will have the name of a victim on them.

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