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Police revise UK crash death toll

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The high-speed collision of two high-speed trains left carnage  

LONDON, England -- Police say they believe the number of people killed in a rail crash in northern England this week was 10 rather than 13.

A spokeswoman said they could not confirm any figures, but said it was likely the death toll was closer to 10 than 13.

Recovery teams have begun lifting the first of the mangled carriages away from the track at the scene of the disaster near Selby in North Yorkshire.

Straps and chains were placed around one of the wrecked carriages and a giant crane slowly lifted it from the track side and guided it into a field at the side.

Superintendent Tony Thompson of British Transport Police said: "This is the start of a long and difficult process which is likely to take many hours.

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"It is possible more bodies may be found when some of the carriages are lifted but until we look we cannot know for sure."

The accident happened on Wednesday after a Land Rover crashed onto the railway line and was then hit by a high-speed passenger train, which in turn derailed into the path of a freight train.

Human remains from around the crash site have now been recovered.

Emergency crews fear the death toll could rise
Emergency crews fear the death toll could rise  

The bodies from Britain's fourth fatal rail crash in as many years have been taken to a makeshift mortuary at a nearby Royal Air Force base.

Of the 70 people injured in the crash 33 remain in hospital, at least two in a critical condition.

The driver of the GNER's Newcastle-London express, John Weddle, GNER chef Paul Taylor, and one of the drivers of the coal-laden goods train, Stephen Dunn, were confirmed among the dead.

A third member of the GNER crew, customer operations leader Raymond Robson, 43, from Whitley Bay, was "unaccounted for."

Builder Gary Hart had been towing a Renault estate car on a flat bed trailer along the M62 motorway when his Land Rover veered off the carriageway and onto one of Britain's busiest -- and fastest -- railway lines.

Police said they were investigating several causes for the accident, including the possibility that the Land Rover suffered a tyre blow-out, or that Hart fell asleep at the wheel.

Hart's wife has dismissed the suggestion that he had fallen asleep as "rubbish," saying the crash was a tragic accident.

"Gary is a very traumatised and is suffering a lot of pain. He is more than willing to co-operate with the British Transport Police, but he has been asked not to comment at this stage," she told a news conference.

She said her husband was undergoing counselling.

His stepfather Martyn Taylor described Hart as "inconsolable with grief."

At the crash site a road allowing heavy equipment to be used is being constructed and a giant crane assembled.

A police spokesman said relatives of those feared dead had been offered the chance to visit the scene.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Great North Eastern Railway

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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