THE coroner presiding over the inquest into the deaths of seven people has begun outlining the events leading up to the 2002 Potter Bar Rail Crash.

Judge Michael Findlay Baker this morning swore in a jury of eight women and three men who over the next couple of months will hear about the possible causes of the train derailment just south of Potter Bar Rail Station.

The fourth carriage of train, heading from Kings Cross to Kings Lynn at 12.45pm on May 10, 2002, came off the rails, crashed into the Darkes Lane bridge and into the station platform, sending terrified commuters running for their lives.

Four passengers, Jonael Schickler, Chia Hsin Lin, Chia Chin Wu, and Alexander Ogunwusi, were thrown out of the airborne carriage and onto the tracks.

Traveling companions Ms Lin and Ms Wu were found together and were declared dead at the scene.

Mr Ogunsuwi was rushed to Barnet Hospital but died later that day from severe chest injuries, and Mr Schickler died instantly from head injuries.

Two other passengers from the rear carriage, Austen Kark and Emma Knights, were not thrown from the train but suffered fatal injuries.

And 80-year-old pensioner Agnes Quinlivan died after being hit by falling debris as she walked under the bridge in Darkes Lane. Despite the efforts of passersby who rushed to free her from under the debris, she died later from head injuries.

Judge Baker said much of the evidence in the inquest will focus on a set of points 150m south of the station which appear to have derailed the train as it travelled at around 98mph.

Representatives of Network Rail, train operator West Anglia Great Northern, the bereaved families, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, and the Office of Rail Regulation are all poised to question the witness and experts as they give evidence.

Jarvis, the firm at the time responsible for maintaining the track and signals on the railway, has not sent representatives to the inquest as it went into administration in March this year.

Judge Baker said the administrators had “not felt able to provide representatives”, but the coroner promise any important issues relevant to past and present Jarvis employees would be “properly explored”.

The inquest will also explore the relationship between Jarvis and the now-defunct Railtrack, and how maintenance of the tracks, points, and signal was handled.

The inquest is being held in the ballroom of the Spirella Building in Letchworth, Herts, in front of friends and relatives of those who died in the crash.