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Engineers agreed track repair plan just before Hatfield crash


SEVERAL QUALIFIED engineers approved plans to address a backlog of defects on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) immediately before the Hatfi eld train crash, the Old Bailey heard this week.

Five men are accused of manslaughter following the crash caused by a broken rail in October 2000.

The backlog plan was adopted ahead of the crash. The prosecution alleges the plan fell outside offi al standards and the men's actions breached their duty of care to passengers.

But the jury heard that more engineers than the defendants had approved the plan.

Former Balfour Beatty engineering director Kenneth Mee agreed that 'numerous competent engineers had passed that plan', under cross-examination from Jonathan Goldberg QC, representing one of the defendants, Nicholas Jeffries.

Goldberg also suggested that the only alternative to pursuing the plan would have been closing King's Cross.

'The cure would have been worse than the illness if you had to shut King's Cross down for two months, ' he said.

On Tuesday, Balfour Beatty engineering manager for the East Coast Main Line, Kenneth Robertson was shown photographs of the rail from the crash site.

He said he had never seen track in a similar state in his 39 years in the industry.

The case continues.

INFOPLUS Visit www. nceplus. co. uk for daily reports.

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