On the verge of the 40 year anniversary of the Granville Train disaster, the New South Wales government will apologise to the victims and their families affected by the disaster.
Speaking to ABC news, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said that the government will apologise to those affected and spoke of the on going hurt and grief that has been felt Australia wide.
“Obviously everyone’s deeply sorry for what has occurred.”
“Over the years, people have had to cope with what was one of the most horrific tragedies in the nation’s history” Constance said.
83 people died and another 213 people were injured when a passenger train derailed and caused a bridge to collapse on the train in March of 1977.
Investigations following the crash showed a glaring lack of maintenance and money invested into the Sydney train system and forced the borrowing of money by the NSW State Government to make adjustments to the rail network.
The NSW Premier at the time of the incident Neville Wran described the train situation in Sydney as “ramshackle”.
People that were affected by the train disaster have been calling for an apology from the government for a long time, however it has fallen on deaf ears until now.
Meredith Knight who lost her father to the accident had to quit school and get a job at the age of 15 to help her family survive.
“We were basically ignored, they didn’t want to know about us” she said.
Knight who had led calls for the apology said she was happy with the decision but would pay careful attention to the wording of the apology to ensure it satisfies those affected.
A special memorial service will be held in Granville on January 18 to remember those people that lost their lives on that fateful day.
The service will commence at 8am at the Granville Railway disaster memorial wall where a bell will be rung 83 times to remember those that died.
Following this there will be a memorial service at St Marks Anglican Church at 10am.