Loss adjusters acting for insurers St Paul have started an investigation into Tuesday's devastating Paddington rail crash.

Teams from GAB Robins, Miller Pycraft, and McLarens Toplis have been asked to assess the aftermath of the disaster which claimed at least eight lives and injured 300 passengers at the height of the morning rush hour.

Peter Elliot, spokesman for St Paul said, the insurer had made emergency funds available to alleviate immediate hardships suffered by the victims of the crash and their families.

McLarens Toplis staff were first on the accident scene shortly after 8am.

A statement from the company said: "Trained personnel with track side certification will help to investigate causation, advise on what further enquiries might be indicated and estimate the potential value of claims."

Tom Battell, associate director of Miller Pycraft's liability division said, its team was undertaking a liability investigation for St Paul, as the insurer for the two train companies involved - First Great Western and Thames Trains.

And Austin Slattery, GAB Robins sales director said, its team was awaiting clearance to attend the crash scene.

The collision occurred near Paddington station, west London, in circumstances similar to the railcrash of 1997 in nearby Southall.

Seven people died in that accident, which is still the subject of a public inquiry.