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Bosses in court over rail deaths.

SIX senior managers yesterday appeared in court on manslaughter charges in connection with the Hatfield train disaster.

They have been charged with four counts of manslaughter due to gross negligence and an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

All six are from Railtrack's successor company, Network Rail, and maintenance firm Balfour Beatty.

Each defendant spoke only to confirm they understood the charge at the magistrates' court in St Albans.

Another six men, including former Railtrack chief executive Gerald Corbett, who is chairman of Woolworths, each faced one charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Four people died on October 17, 2000, when a GNER express train derailed half a mile south of Hatfield station in Hertfordshire.

Lawyers for prosecution and defence asked for the addresses of defendants to be withheld to avoid the possibility of abusive phone calls or letters being received.

Network Rail and Balfour Beatty are also charged with manslaughter due to gross negligence and one offence of breaching the health and safety legislation.

Network Rail's solicitor said after the hearing: "The company and individuals fully intend to defend themselves against these charges."

Bereaved relatives watching from the public gallery broke down during the two-hour hearing.

The case was committed to St Albans Crown Court for next Tuesday.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 15, 2003
Words:215
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