Man dragged under train as closing door traps his coat

EXTRA warnings will be given out at Huntingdon railway station after a man was dragged under a train. The man, a guitarist, aged 41, survived by what station staff called a miracle . Wishing only to be known by his first name, David, he is in Addenbrook

EXTRA warnings will be given out at Huntingdon railway station after a man was dragged under a train.

The man, a guitarist, aged 41, survived by what station staff called "a miracle".

Wishing only to be known by his first name, David, he is in Addenbrooke's hospital, in Cambridge, where doctors are fighting to save his shattered left arm. He is due to undergo a third operation this week.

The man had gone onto the 3.59pm service from Huntingdon to London King's Cross to say goodbye to a woman he had dropped off.


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He got off as the door alarm sounded and stood outside the door. However he realised his coat was caught in the door only as the train pulled away from the platform.

He tried desperately to raise the alarm and banged on the windows of the train.

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He then tried to rip his coat off as the train pulled away but unable to pull himself free, he was dragged along the platform and then under the wheels of the train. The train was stopped just south of the station after the alarm was raised by the female companion on board.

Paramedics who took the man to hospital after the accident believed he had lost his arm, but surgeons are now working round the clock to save it.

A spokesman for train operator WAGN said it was a "miracle" that he had survived.

Graham Bashford said: "The train was running a little early so it stayed on the platform for a couple of minutes.

"The man got on the train with the person he was saying goodbye to and got off when the hustle alarm sounded - which indicates that the doors are about to close.

"It appears that he stood quite close to the train and as the doors closed he didn't realise that his coat was in the door.

"As the train gathered speed, he got pulled underneath. Miraculously, he survived but he did suffer injuries to the arm.

"An investigation is under way, but these kind of accidents are extremely rare."

"Safety is a priority on the railway, always has been and always will be, which is why we have increased these announcements to draw people's attention to the notices which are already up."

After the man was rescued, the train continued to St Neots station where passengers were taken off to continue their journeys by taxi.

The train was then taken to WAGN's depot in Hornsea for a full inspection as part of the accident investigation. The company said later that neither its engineers nor the Rail Accident Investigation Board had found any fault with the system interlocking the doors and the traction motors.

The British Transport Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the accident. A spokesman said witness statements and CCTV footage would be passed to the RAIB.

n Sliding door trains have a system that prevents operation of traction motors that power the train if doors are not closed. But some tolerance is permitted to allow for normal operation of the door mechanism and minor obstructions such as the build-up of ice or snow on the runners during a winter journey.

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