TERRIFIED passengers called their parents to tell them they loved them after their train crashed and filled with smoke like a “terror attack”.
Seventeen people have reportedly been taken to hospital after two trains collided inside Fisherton Tunnel, near Salisbury last night.
Authorities declared a major incident and set up a casualty centre with 50 firefighters rushing to the scene with other emergency services.
Student Callum Stedman, 16, said passengers believed they would die and started calling their parents to tell them that they loved them.
Callum, from Weybridge, Surrey, had been returning to Warminster School after the half term when the incident happened.
The boarder said: “The train was quite full. I was standing. We felt a jolt and everything went black.
“We all landed on each other and the train was at 45 degrees on its side.
“Then lights started coming on from people’s phones and we started looking around, you see people with broken noses and black eyes and blood dripping.
“Some people had bad legs, there was one 17 year old lad who went to hospital with an injured leg, possibly broken.
“It was just really scary, the smoke was the worst part because you thought it was going to catch fire and you would die.”
He likened it to a “terror attack”, adding: “It was really scary, lots of people started taking videos saying ‘mum and dad, I love you’, scared they were going to die.”
“I know the driver wasn’t in good shape. I know there were three in critical condition.
“A girl landed on top of me and I hit my head on a pole.
“Outside the door there was a big fireball and there was smoke and then there was lots of smoke and lots of fuel and that’s when everyone started panicking.
“Everyone was just saying, ‘guys are you okay’. There were a lot of people who were quite panicked, so were crying and some people were kicking in the windows because they were stressed.
“It was pitch black, we couldn’t see anything apart from people’s phones lighting up within the carriage.
“My head was pounding and I was dizzy but once I got off and got inside the church I was given two Nurofen and two paracetamols I felt a bit better.”
He added passengers couldn’t find the hammer tool used to break glass when they were trapped.
Sailor Morgan Harris, who was travelling from London Waterloo back to his base in Yeovil, said he was thrown from his seat due to the impact of the huge crash.
The 20-year-old said: "It was all going along normally then, all of a sudden, there was this massive bang and all of the lights went out.
"There were sparks and flames from where we had come off the track, and there was a load of ash coming from outside.
"Our train was on its side… I was thrown out of my seat and banged against the table."
Passenger Dimitri Popa, from Romania, was travelling on the train from London to Sherborne when the terrifying crash occurred.
The 17-year-old added: "It all happened so fast… I was just sitting in the first carriage and there was a huge crash.
Were you a passenger on either of the trains? Email [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104.
"The carriage was 45 degrees to the right. We didn't know where we were or anything… we were all just so shocked."
Another passenger, Lucy Gregory told Good Morning Britain: "First thing I did was message my dad. I've looked back at the messages.
"At 18.42pm I said we're coming into salisbury. At 18.43pm I messaged again saying our train has crashed.
"Just this impact – I actually slide backwards underneath the table on the opposite side of the train which then was digging into my back and my neck."
Meanwhile Angela Mattingly said: "We were trying to break windows but we couldn't find a metal hammer.
"Other people were saying if you do break a window don't climb out in case there's a live rail."
Network Rail tonight confirmed the crash unfolded when one of the trains derailed after hitting an object, and a second train then collided with it when signalling was affected.
The driver of the second train was trapped in the cab following the horror crash.
He has now been released from his cab and has been taken to hospital – but is not seriously injured, according to sources.
BTP Inspector Mullah Hoque said that 100 people had been evacuated in the "major incident".
He confirmed that there had been no fatalities, but a number of people were injured and "walking wounded".
Reverend Andy Bousfield took in 120 passengers from both trains into St Mark’s Church and described them as “visibly shaken”.
Boxes of plastic water bottles and blankets were brought to the casualty centre, with passengers being given food while there.
Hsaid: "There were some people who were visibly shaken and others had some injuries and others were frustrated and just wanted to get home.
"The first people seemed to be absolutely fine, there were a few with injuries, some of them were shaken and just wanted somewhere to sit down.
"We just popped the kettle on and in fact some of the neighbours popped around with biscuits and milk… It’s a real pulling together.
"There were about 100, 120 people.. it was a lot of cups of tea. It was quite nice that the community came together at the last minute for an emergency.”
How did the Salisbury train crash happen?
At around 6.45pm on Sunday night, a Great Western Rail service between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Temple Meads hit a mystery object in the Fisherton Tunnel near Salisbury.
The collision caused the rear carriage to derail.
Seven minutes later, the 5.20pm South Western Rail service from London Waterloo to Honiton in Devon ploughed into the stricken train.
Dozens of passengers were injured, although none critically.
A newborn baby was one of more than 100 people led to safety by brave firefighters.
As yet, there's no word on how the terrifying incident happened.
However, a senior railway engineer told MailOnline there must have been a "major flaw" that allowed the high-speed inter-city service to smash into the first locomotive.
The anonymous whistleblower said when the Great Western Service derailed, there should be an "automatic obstruction warning" to stop any train from coming within a mile of it.
"There has been a major flaw within the signalling system within Network Rail," he said.
"According to my system, the signalling system was aware seven minutes before impact.
"It should’ve automatically stopped the train. It should’ve automatically set all signals to red. If the driver didn’t see the signal, the system should’ve made the train stop."
He said Network Rail has overseen "numerous failures" – and he'd feared such an incident for "two years".
But this morning, Network Rail's safety and engineering director Martin Frobisher said it's "far too early to speculate" on the cause – as there's a "lot of contradictory information" in the early stages of an investigation.
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