Saturday 1 February 2014


(The Guardian) A woman is in a serious condition in hospital after climbing on to the top of a freight train in London and getting severely burned by live overhead cables.

The 22-year-old touched the 25,000-volt wires on Wednesday night and was thrown six metres on to the platform at Hackney Wick station.

Witnesses said that the woman removed her high heels and climbed on to the train before spending 15 minutes dodging between carriages, at one point posing for friends who were watching and laughing from the platform. Then there was an explosion.

Alexandra Rucki, a journalist from Tooting who witnessed the incident, told the Evening Standard: "I was walking up the platform when I saw a huge bang, it looked like a firework."

"I saw a group of people crying and saying 'oh my god' running away from the bridge. I spoke to a man on the platform who was crying and said someone touched a cable and exploded into bits.

"A train pulled into the platform so I walked up and saw someone all covered in black lying on the floor surrounded by people on the opposite platform. It was eerily quiet."

Another witness added: "I think she might have ended up between the wires and then went into one of them. It was like an explosion so loud you couldn't hear if she screamed or said anything at all.

"We ran over to the other side of the platform where she was and couldn't believe that she was conscious and breathing, it was a shock, we thought she'd be dead."

Network Rail said: "The railway is a dangerous place, with trains travelling at high speeds and power lines carrying more than 25,000 volts of electricity. What might have seemed a harmless prank very nearly ended in tragedy."

British Transport police said that officers were called to Hackney Wick station on Wednesday following reports that a woman had been injured: "It is believed that she fell from the roof of the train and as she did so, came into contact with electricity from overhead power lines."

The woman was taken to the nearby Royal London Hospital, where she remains in a serious but stable condition.

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