A NIGERIAN prince who died in the Potters Bar Rail Crash tried to get up and walk away despite suffering fatal chest injuries.

Alexander Ogunwusi was seen getting to his feet after the 2002 crash, despite minutes earlier having been flung through a window of the derailed train and on to the tracks.

Louis Spring, a South Bank lecturer, told the inquest in the deaths in the crash he saw Mr Ogunwusi “get up and walk a step or two” before sitting down again.

Wood Green police officer PC David Bedford helped to get Mr Ogunwusi to a stretcher and away from the scene of the crash, just after 1pm on May 10, but he later died in hospital because his chest had been crushed.

Mr Spring told the hearing he had a “sense of regret” that he did not spend more time looking after Mr Ogunwusi, a Nigerian prince living in Upper Tulse Hill, Brixton, believing he was not as badly hurt as some of the other passengers.

But Brian Cummins, representing the victim's families, said he should not feel any guilt at all and was not to know the extent of Mr Ogunwusi's injuries.

Mr Spring and PC Bedford were among the eyewitnesses to give evidence on the third day of the inquest into the train crash deaths, being held at the Spirella Building in Letchworth.

Many have described hearing an “explosion”, a series of loud bangs and rushing noises as the fourth carriage of the train left the rails and flipped on to its side, careering into Potters Bar station at high speeds.

Sally Hatton, a hairdresser working in Sunshine Hairdressers in The Mall, in Potters Bar, on the day of the crash, rushed down to scene when she heard the noise.

She went to the railway bridge in Darkes Lane which had been struck by the derailed train and found rubble and debris had fallen down on to the road, smashing into cars and hitting an elderly couple on the pavement.

In a statement given a month after the crash, she recalled jumping over what she thought was just a pile of debris, but realised 80-year-old South Mimms resident Agnes Quinlivan was trapped underneath.

She said: “She was not moving and was making a gurgling noise. There was blood coming from her head and nose but she was breathing.

“People started to join me and wanted to move her, but I said no.

“I just stayed with her, stroking her hair and hand.”

After paramedics came to treat Mrs Quinlivan, Ms Hatton went up to the station and helped injured passengers before later returning to work.

Mrs Quinlivan, whose daughter Pat Smith lives in Potters Bar, was taken to hospital soon after the crash, but died later from head injuries.

Hers is one of seven deaths being thoroughly investigated in the inquest, due to last two months.

Coroner Judge Michael Findlay Baker QC opened the hearing on Tuesday, saying defective points on the track were at fault for the crash and said several opportunities to fix the problem were missed by railway staff.