About The Paddington Survivors Group
The Paddington Survivors Group (PSG) was set up by survivors for survivors of the Ladbroke Grove train crash. The PSGs main role is to provide help and advice to the survivors and, most importantly, emotional support for each other.
Our secondary role is to campaign to stop trains going through red signals and improve the UKs rail network. The survivors run the PSG on a voluntary basis because we do not want anyone else going through the nightmare we have had to, and continue to live with in the aftermath.
At 8.09am on the morning of Tuesday 5th October 1999, a Great Western Train from Cheltenham to Paddington crashed into the Paddington to Bedwyn Thames Train at Ladbroke Grove in West London. The resulting collision left 31 people dead and over 400 hundred injured.
One of the survivors, Pam Warren was released from hospital in December 1999. In January 2000 Pam wrote a letter to all the survivors, and from the responses she received, a meeting of survivors was set up in April 2000. At the meeting people spoke about their experiences, for example when someone said about the smell at the scene, all the other survivors knew exactly what that smell was without describing it. There was a common and strong bond between all the people at the meeting, they were and are survivors.
It was decided that it would be good to meet again, so another meeting was set up and The Paddington Survivors Group was formed.
The first meetings were about giving each other emotional support and trying to figure out what had happened to change our lives so dramatically. After a time a sense of anger grew as more and more was discovered about how the rail industry operated and why the crash had come to be. From our discoveries and research we all felt that this was no accident and have never referred to it as such. Our crash was a direct consequence of industry fragmentation, lack of responsibility and a general feeling that it is cheaper to pay compensation than to put right what is wrong.
From this anger the members wanted to do 'something' constructive to try to prevent what happened to us happening again. The PSG carried on providing emotional support, but also incorporated the campaigning side into the meetings using Lord Cullens Inquiry as the basis of campaign issues.