Two commuter trains collided Monday outside Glasgow, and Scotrail said two people were killed and 44 injured.
It was the second rail collision in Britain in 48 hours. A crash Saturday on the outskirts of London killed five people and injured 94.Willie Caldwell, a spokesman for state-owned Scotrail, said one person was believed trapped in the wreckage two hours after the accident, and most injuries were believed minor.
Scotrail said the two trains were traveling toward each other between the Glasgow suburbs of Springburn and Milngavie when they collided just before 1 p.m. outside Bellgrove station, two miles from the center of Glasgow.
"We were all sitting down in the train, and suddenly there was a large bang. People were thrown about all over the place," said Colin Smith, a student who was on one train.
The two trains, carrying about 70 passengers, were going less than 30 mph, Scotrail said. At least two cars derailed.
Firefighters swarmed over the wreckage to free trapped passengers, while ambulances stood by to evacuate casualties.
Scotrail is a branch of state-owned British Rail, whose safety procedures are under severe criticism after two serious accidents in the London area in less than three months.
The Scottish crash "confirms that we have been putting insufficient resources into preventing these accidents," said legislator John Prescott, the opposition Labor Party's transport spokesman. "The government's policy is clearly on trial," he said.
Transport Secretary Paul Channon denied that government budget-cutting was a factor, but told the House of Commons: "The fact that there have been two serious accidents on British Rail and now a third within three months is naturally a cause for concern."
After Saturday's crash outside London, investigators found signs the driver of one passenger train tried to stop at a red signal before his train struck another London-bound train.
Gordon Pettitt, general manager of British Rail's Southern Region, said Sunday that driver David Morgan made "a severe brake application" long before his train passed the red signal.
Morgan was one of 94 people injured when his train, traveling from Littlehampton to London, hit a train traveling from Horsham to the capital.
Six cars rolled down a 60-foot embankment after the crash, and several came to rest in the yards of homes.
Authorities said the Horsham train was crossing from a slow track onto the main line when it was struck from behind near Purley Station on London's southern outskirts.
Morgan "has told us that the signal at the end of the platform at Purley Station was red, yet he went through it," Pettitt said. "He has not been able to offer any explanation for that."
Morgan was hospitalized with two broken legs, Pettitt said.
"The safety of our signaling system does obviously depend on drivers stopping at red lights," he said.
"We have quite a lot of evidence that a severe brake application was made prior to the collision and long before the signal," Pettitt said. He did not detail the evidence.