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1967: 49 Died In The Hither Green Rail Crash

 

On November 5, 1967, 49 passengers on a British commuter train were killed when the train derailed. In addition to the deaths, more than 80 people were injured in the Green Rail accident here, while others recovered but were changed forever, including Bee Gees member Robin Gibb.

Here Green Train Accident

On that clear and apparently hassle-free Sunday evening, a twelve-coach express train from Hastings to Charing Cross struck disaster between Green and Grove Park stations, in the most literal sense of the word. It turned out that one of the rails was broken, and when the train hit the broken rail, it was fixed.

All but two of the coaches were flipped, and the sides of two were cleared. In the process, 49 people were killed and 80 others were injured, many of whom were seriously injured. Survivors later recalled hearing "terrible screams" as "the lights went out" and the train "shaken and swayed and went on its side" while "stones came chipping off the track." When B.B.C. Reported of the accident, which was the sixth worst in British history, rescuers were still trying to retrieve survivors from the rubble that was folded in the torrential rain. Early, the accident occurred about a mile from the Lewisham train accident that killed 90 people 10 years earlier.

One of those who survived was Robin Gibb, who was 17 years old at the time and was away from the Bee Gees' first big hits. He was taking his then-fiancée from Hastings to London and, thanks to his recent success, was pleased to be able to buy first class tickets on the train. The spray probably saved both of their lives. In 2012, Gibb wrote that surviving the accident—which he described as a harrowing experience surrounded by people "screaming and groaning, though he and his partner were not harmed"—"[her] ] changed forever.

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