Tube contractor Metronet has accepted responsibility for today's derailment of a westbound Central Line train between Mile End and Bethnal Green stations this morning, claiming it was caused by a 'loose bale of material'.
A Metronet spokesman said: 'Shortly after 9am the three leading bogies of a Central Line train came off the rails in a tunnel on the west-bound track between Mile End and Bethnal Green.'While it is important not to pre-judge the outcome of the investigation, our initial reports suggest that a bale of material became dislodged from its licensed storage position in a tunnel cross-passage,' it reads.Cross-passages are frequently used to store materials needed for the nightly upgrade of the track. Metronet's statment suggests that some of this material falling onto the track was responsible for the derailment.'As a precaution, Metronet has ordered an immediate audit of all similar storage sites used by its staff and contractors - and this will be completed before the start of service tomorrow morning,' added the spokesman.All works, except essential maintenance will be suspended tonight as a result.RMT chairman Bob Crow said that the work was carried out by private contractors. '[I want] Ken Livingstone to take these contracts back in-house before we have a disaster on our hands,' said Crow.Last week, Metronet BCV, which runs the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central lines, requested an extraordinary review by the PPP arbiter to determine whether the contractor or client London Underground pays for around £1bn in overspends. Metronet is jointly owned by Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF Energy, and Thames Water.Following the derailment, 15 people received medical treatment, and another five were taken to hospital with minor injuries. The police described the incident as 'minor'.