13 Dec 2009

Another forgotten day in history

Our lives are so busy and there are so many things happening, it’s impossible to keep up with important dates in history. What’s important to one is meaningless to another.

I’ve been recently studying Corporate Manslaughter/Homicide. The law was significantly improved here in the UK after the new Statute was passed in 2007.

I was drawing up a timeline of events leading up to this new legislation and discovered that yesterday, 12th Dec, was an important date. It was on 12th Dec 1988, that one of the most horrible rail disasters in British history took place. For a brief insight into Clapham see YouTube video below.

Well, Rock Crawlers go bawl ‘Buh we eh have railway an’ t’ing.’ – simple thoughts from simple minds. The issue of course is not ‘the disaster’ or that it took place ‘on a railway’. The issue is what can be learned from it. Interestingly not many lessons seem to have been learned in this fus worl’ (aka first world nation). How ah mean? Of the myriads of faults documented on the Railways at the Railways Archive, one basic problem emerges – the ‘human factor’. Behind every ‘machine’ error is a string of human errors. Ah could hear somebody bawling ‘Tuh err is to be human eh.’. Riiiiiiiiigghhtt – so leh we jes continue so den – and kill people an’ t’ing and den bawl ‘We i’s only human!

At Clapham (1988), 35 died and 500 people were injured from two collisions between three commuter trains 800m south west of Clapham Junction (London).

For fuller details see: Clapham Crash at Wikipedia.