“This is an extremely serious incident,” the latter said on Twitter. In front of the Scottish deputies, Mrs Sturgeon then clarified that “preliminary information” reported “serious injuries”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “saddened to learn of the very serious incident in Aberdeenshire”, conveying his “thoughts” to the victims.
The derailment left three dead, including the driver, and six injured, British transport police said in a statement.
“Despite the efforts of the paramedics, three people were declared dead at the scene” including the train driver, said the institution in a statement, adding that “six people” had also been “taken to hospital to treat injuries which, fortunately, are not considered serious ”.
Volumes of smoke were emerging from the scene of the accident, which occurred in a hilly region, where several rescue vehicles and a helicopter poured in, according to images broadcast by the BBC. The train itself was not visible.
“We are currently dealing with an incident on the line at Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where a train derailed”, tweeted in the morning the British transport police.
“The officers were called to the scene at 09:43 (08:43 GMT) and remain there alongside paramedics and firefighters,” added the police, without further details on possible victims.
The train, comprising one locomotive and four cars, had left at 06:38 local (0538 GMT) from Aberdeen for Glasgow.
No leads were raised regarding the cause of the accident, sources quoted in the British media citing a possible link with the weather conditions in the region.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms occurred overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in Scotland, which caused flooding in the area and caused delays in rail traffic. A landslide occurred in Carmont, not far from the scene of the incident.
“Our teams worked through the night trying to keep the network open, despite torrential rains and lightning. There are, however, disruptions on several routes, ”had tweeted in the morning Network Rail Scotland, which manages the Scottish rail network.
MP Andrew Bowie who was in the town of Stonehaven Wednesday morning saw “homes and businesses affected” by the weather, he testified on Twitter. “But it would have been a lot worse without the quick work of residents and emergency services. Fortunately, the water is receding quickly, ”he added on the social network.
The accident came as Aberdeen, where the train departed from, is currently partially re-confined due to a spike in cases of the new coronavirus, identified last week in this coastal city where the industry is very present petroleum.
Pubs and restaurants were closed and travel restrictions reimposed. These restrictions, announced a week ago, will be maintained, Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday.
“I know the people of Aberdeen, who are facing extreme weather conditions as well as the Covid, will be disappointed with this decision,” said Ms Sturgeon, “but I want to thank them for following the rules so well that we have implemented last week. “
The United Kingdom is the most bereaved country in Europe by the current pandemic, with more than 46,000 dead.