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Potters Bar rail crash deaths 'avoidable'

Potters Bar
Image caption The train was travelling at 98 mph when it derailed

A father has told an inquest that his daughter would be alive had it not been for Network Rail's negligence.

Emma Knights, 29, of Knapwell, Cambridgeshire, was one of seven people to die in the Potters Bar rail crash on 10 May 2002.

Her father Capt John Knights told the inquest in Letchworth that before the crash problems had been noted with the points.

He said speed limits could have prevented loss of life.

Master Mariner Capt Knights, who lives in Lowestoft in Suffolk, said he was "angry" that Network Rail and rail maintenance firm Jarvis knew there were problems with sets of points.

Image caption Emma Knights, 29, was an IT worker from Cambridgeshire

He said if a 50mph speed limits had been imposed there may have been no lives lost.

Capt Knights said his daughter Emma, an IT worker, was "the love of our lives".

As well as seven deaths, 76 people were injured when a London-King's Lynn train derailed outside the station.

A jury of eight women and three men is hearing the case before Judge Michael Findlay Baker QC.

The inquests will examine the deaths of Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Jonael Schickler, Alexander Ogunwusi, Chia Hsin Lin, Chia Chin Wu and Agnes Quinlivan.

Last week the judge told the jury there were a number of questions about the points they needed to consider; what state were they in at the time of the derailment; how they came to be in that state; whether their condition was observed; and if not, why not.

Various demands for a full public inquiry were rejected by the government in 2005.

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