31 May 2016
12 Injured as ‘Trap and Drag’ Train Accidents Rise
At least 12 people were seriously injured last year when they were trapped and dragged along the platform by train doors.
Commuters are at risk of being pulled under trains or dragged as a result of their body or bag being caught in the closed doors the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has warned.
Following the rise in incidents, combined with an increase in overcrowding on platforms, the RAIB has issued a health and safety warning for rail operators to urge their staff to check all doors before the train departs.
Among the 12 accidents last year, it was revealed that two people were dragged beneath the train. One of the incidents saw a woman’s bag caught in the train door, causing her to fall down the gap between the platform and carriage at West Wickham station in south London.
Another incident in 2013 involved a woman being pulled 60ft along the platform at Newcastle Central station when her wrist was trapped in a carriage door.
The RAIB said that too many people did not understand that not all train doors - unlike those of lifts – will detect objects before closing, and that trains will move despite an object being trapped.
A report by the RAIB said that some passengers do not attempt to free themselves until the train begins to move.
The safety warnings follow reports of passenger numbers and overcrowding reaching record levels, with 1.645 billion train journeys made in 2014-15.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We have the safest railway in Europe but urge passengers to be careful when boarding and alighting trains.”