Death on line sicko should be derailed

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

AS a regular train user I’m used to the frus­tra­tions of de­lays.

And more than once dur­ing them I have mut­tered some­thing un­der my breath that most prob­a­bly wouldn’t be ap­pro­pri­ate in a church.

No one in their right mind wants to be stuck in an over­crowded car­riage any longer than they need to be.

But on Fri­day a mem­ber of staff of First Great West­ern trains made an an­nounce­ment that took the breath away of even the grump­i­est of pas­sen­gers.

The 16:36 ser­vice from Lon­don’s Padding­ton to Ply­mouth was slowed down be­cause of an event be­tween Slough and Read­ing.

Ex­plain­ing there had been a death on the line and the de­lays caused by it, the fe­male an­nouncer added that the hold-ups were “be­cause some­one couldn’t be both­ered to live any­more”.

Pas­sen­gers hear­ing

this were un­der­stand­ably stunned.

Their Bank Hol­i­day week­end was no doubt as im­por­tant to them as to the rest of us, but was this in any way ap­pro­pri­ate? Of course not. It was a state­ment that was be­yond crass – words from the rot­ten mouth of an ab­so­lute cretin.

One has to hope the staff mem­ber in­volved is now in fact an ex-staff mem­ber.

But who knows? Th­ese days or­gan­i­sa­tions like to trot out a press re­lease of­fer­ing a trite apol­ogy with a nod to the no­tion of “lessons have been learned”.

A young men­tal health nurs­ing stu­dent, Es­mée Phillips, was on board the train at the time and was un­der­stand­ably fu­ri­ous.

She took her anger onto Twit­ter, post­ing: “Hav­ing a mem­ber of staff com­pare a fam­ily’s loss to peo­ple los­ing out on hol­i­days is a dis­grace.”

I’d say it was even more than a dis­grace. It was out­ra­geous.

This flip­pant re­mark was af­ter all about some­one whose men­tal­ity was so torn that they threw them­selves un­der a train.

Can you even begin to imag­ine the stran­gling tor­ment that takes you there?

I live near a rail­way, and there has re­cently been a sim­i­lar fa­tal­ity in­volv­ing a school­child.

Th­ese in­ci­dents never fail to shock to the core and God only knows what it does to a fam­ily.

To ca­su­ally dis­miss such a death as “be­cause some­one couldn’t be both­ered to live any­more” is be­yond all com­pre­hen­sion.

We don’t yet know about this tragic in­di­vid­ual’s cir­cum­stances but surely their life – and the man­ner of their death – is of more con­se­quence than peo­ple get­ting home in time for tea.

This col­umn has writ­ten about de­pres­sion be­fore but it can never be ham­mered home enough.

It is the num­ber one killer of men un­der 50 which silently af­fects a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of our pop­u­la­tion.

It is an in­vis­i­ble, vice-like grip that you can’t just “get over” or “shake off” and is as much of a killing dis­ease as can­cer.

I ad­mire the pas­sen­gers on the 16:36 who ex­pressed their anger to­wards the train an­nouncer.

Per­haps West­ern “both­ered” sacking her.

First Great could now be

to con­sider

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