Latest Rail News

31.08.16

RAIB to investigate passenger fatality

An investigation has opened after a passenger was fatally injured on a train near Balham on 7 August.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has opened an investigation into the death of the passenger, which happened when he sustained fatal injuries after hitting his head on a signal gantry.

The incident took place at around 5.25pm on 7 August on the 5.05pm Gatwick Express service from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria, which was travelling at 60mph.

The gantry is located about 700m south of Balham station, 26cm from the tracks, and spans all four lines.

It is not yet known how the incident occurred. According to eyewitnesses, the passenger was standing next to a door, which has an opening droplight, intended for the use of the guard, which passengers are warned not to lean out of.

The RAIB said its investigation will look at a number of factors, including those which affected the clearance between the train and the gantry and the measures in place to control the risks from leaning out of train windows.

Fatalities are exceptionally rare on UK railways. In 2015 there were 307 deaths on the railways, of which 294 were due to trespass or confirmed or suspected suicide.

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