11:24AM, Thursday 19 January 2017
Safety advice is set to be improved after a teenage girl's wheelchair was struck by a freight train at Twyford Station.
According to a report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), the teenager injured her foot after being caught in the wagon’s slipstream, which dragged her towards the edge of the platform.
Fortunately, the girl only had ‘glancing contacts’ with the train, with the final one pushing her clear.
She had been waiting behind the yellow safety line with her mother at about 10.50am on April 7 when the non-stop service passed through.
The investigation found the locomotive’s slipstream and ‘ambient wind’, ‘generated an aerodynamic force which was able to overcome the brakes on the wheelchair’.
Following this, the RAIB recommended the Rail Delivery Group do more to educate the public about the danger of slipstream and that Great Western Railway should ‘ensure that warnings of passing trains provided to station users are timely and effective’.
Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents Simon French said: “This distressing accident has highlighted the fact that even slow moving trains can cause significant airflows on station platforms.
“Passengers should be aware that such airflows can move wheeled transport and take particular care when travelling.
“We have recommended that the rail industry takes steps to promote a greater public awareness of the potential hazards from train slipstreams.
“We have also made a number of recommendations relating to the way that the industry manages aerodynamic risk in stations.”
Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/report-012017-wheelchair-contacting-a-train-at-twyford-station to read the report in full.
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