Harold Wood woman saved by stranger at Brentwood after falling headfirst towards rail tracks

A Harold Wood woman only escaped serious injury after falling head first between the side of a train and the platform at Brentwood station thanks to the quick-thinking of another passenger.

A report released this morning said that the woman was returning home from London when she fell asleep on the train and missed her stop at Harold Wood and ran off the train at Brentwood.

At 11.40pm she rushed off the train while the alarm was sounding, squeezed out between the closing doors and fell head first between the train and the platform.

Luckily for her a man who had just got off the train caught her by one of her legs, and she escaped with cuts and bruises to her legs and to the top of her head, rather than falling down onto the platform.

The train driver didn’t notice she was stuck and moved off towards the next station.

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At that point she was able to be lowered down safely onto the train track, to the amazement of witnesses.

The official investigation into the accident, which happened on January 28, concluded that the accident was caused by the woman leaving the train when the alarms were sounding, her losing her balance, and the driver of the train stopping it too far forward to see what was going on behind him.

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But it also criticised Network Rail and National Express East Anglia (NXEA) for their role in the accident.

It said: “The investigation identified weaknesses in the way that it addressed the risk from driver-only operation of trains.

“There were also weaknesses in the way that key items of equipment (monitors and signage provided to indicate to a train driver where to stop) were configured on the platform where the accident occurred.”

Based on the incident, it has recommended that the companies review their safety standards at stations.

Were you involved in the accident? Did you see what happened? Call the newsdesk on 020 8477 3796 or email ian.weinfass@archant.co.uk.

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