UK engineers to examine slopes near tracks after derailment

LONDON (AP) — Britain's railway operator says inspectors will be examining track-side slopes after a passenger train derailed following heavy rain and flooding in Scotland, killing three people.

Network Rail said Thursday that engineers, contractors and surveyors in helicopters are being dispatched to assess sites similar to the stretch of track where the train derailed near Stonehaven, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Edinburgh and south of Aberdeen.

A landslide is suspected of playing a role in Wednesday's derailment. Images taken near the wreck showed several cars of the four-carriage train had left the tracks and one had tumbled down an embankment.

The train's driver, Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and a passenger were killed.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said he understood that questions were being asked.

“It’s too early to draw conclusions, but it is critical that we investigate thoroughly and with care, and work closely with rail safety authorities to make sure this can’t happen again,” he said.

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