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RALLY TRAGEDY: Effort to remove bodies begins

The scene at Little Swinton, near Coldstream. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

The scene at Little Swinton, near Coldstream. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

 

Efforts are under way to remove the bodies of three people killed when a car ploughed into spectators at the Jim Clark Rally.

Police Scotland have confirmed that the victims were a 63-year-old woman, a 64-year-old man and a 71-year-old man from the Greater Glasgow area.

Superintendent Phil O’Kane of Police Scotland said officers were working to “forensically and sympathetically remove the deceased” from the scene.

He added: “We secured the scene last night, it was fading light, and the practicalities meant body removal was not an option, so they will be recovered over the course of today and police are working on that.

“We will also ensure we contact the next of kin and we will put in place all necessary family support for them.”

The rally car was still at the scene of the accident today with two white tents also erected on the road. A forensic officer was also seen filming at a junction close to where the crash took place at Little Swinton, a mile north of Coldstream.

A police cordon is in place at the entry to the road and a bunch of flowers have been left beside a tree in tribute to those who died.

Mr O’Kane, strategic commander for the incident, said: “We still have a scene we are protecting where the fatalities occurred.”

The rally, which was due to finish today, was immediately abandoned after the fatal crash yesterday afternoon, with emergency services called out to the scene.

About 250 competitors had been taking part in the event, the police said, with thousands of spectators watching the action.

Mr O’Kane described the rally as a “significant event”, adding: “It’s taken place for 44 years, it’s one of the largest rallies in the UK.”

After the first crash the Eccles stage of the event was suspended, but the rally was only abandoned after the second incident.

The police officer said he thought the rally organising committee “would have considered it was safe to move on to the next rally stage” after the first accident.

He added: “It’s the nature of the event, a rally on open roads that the public have access to. Although safety barriers are put in place there are not stewarding positions along the whole route.

“It’s a high energy and a high adrenaline sport and people want to take the best positions.”

 

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