Train station injuries ‘were preventable’
Final checks on doors are ‘an absolute necessity’
AN incident at Hayes and Harlington Rail Station where a woman was dragged 20 metres along the platform with her hand caught in the door could have been avoided, an accident report has found.
The woman suffered head, hand and back injuries when she was dragged along the platform, lost her footing and fell after she became trapped in a closing door, according to a Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) document, released on Thursday June 30.
The accident happened on July 25 last year after the woman deliberately placed her hand in the closing door, hoping they would open and allow her to board.
Chief inspector of rail accidents at RAIB, Simon French, said: “We issued urgent safety advice on November 30 2015, reminding train operating companies and their staff of the absolute necessity of carrying out the final check after the doors are closed, to confirm that nobody is trapped in the doors or too close to the train.”
A man was killed earlier this week at Feltham station after being struck by a train.
The report stated that the driver either did not make a final check that it was safe to depart, or did not check sufficiently enough for him to spot the trapped passenger.
It added that the driver may have also believe it was safe to depart because a ‘door interlock light’ had come on in his indicating doors closed and locked.
But the investigation into the accident found that rail staff mistakenly believed that a tapped hand would stop the light from illuminating.
Mr French also highlighted three ‘important safety lessons’ from the incident – train doors can trap people and objects and door interlocks may not detect their presence, it can be difficult for passengers to remove trapped objects, and staff must always perform a thorough final safety check.
Unions used the dramatic images of the woman being dragged along the platform during strikes earlier this year.
The Gazette has approached train operator First Great Western for comment. cab, were