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Two British firms have been fined a total of $31 million sterling for a train derailment that killed four people and injured 102 five years ago.
Imposing record fines for breaches of rail safety, the Old Bailey criminal court in London ordered engineering giant Balfour Beatty to pay 10 million pounds and Network Rail $8.1 million in penalties.
It also ordered them to pay $700,000 each in court costs.
The case raised questions about the state of Britain's privatised railroads and spurred draft legislation aimed at making it easier to convict corporate executives of manslaughter in cases where negligence causes loss of life.
Relatives of victims and union leaders were upset that no manslaughter charges stuck in the case.
On October 17, 2000, a train travelling from London to the northern English city of Leeds flew off the tracks at 184 kilometres per hour after a portion of rail disintegrated at Hatfield, just north of the capital.
A faulty rail had been left unrepaired 21 months before the crash.
A replacement rail was left beside the track for six months.
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