September 12, 2013 | Mark Paradies

Press Release from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch: Dangerous occurrence at Denmark Hill station, London, 1 August 2013

The RAIB is carrying out a preliminary examination of an incident at Denmark Hill station which resulted in concrete falling onto a platform on the afternoon of 1 August 2013. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

At 16:19 hrs on 1 August 2013 the driver of train 9M44, the 16:00 hrs service from Clapham Junction to Highbury & Islington, reported that there was an object hanging from the bridge which carries the station buildings and a road over the platforms at Denmark Hill station. A subsequent inspection found that a section of concrete about 4.5 metres long had fallen from the bridge and that another section of concrete was hanging from the bridge. Train services through the station were disrupted for the remainder of the day because one of the four tracks through the station was closed immediately and a second track was closed later to allow access for remedial work.

Network Rail records show that, in the 22 months before the incident, loose concrete had been identified and removed from various parts of the underside of the bridge on four occasions, including two occasions when Network Rail considered that work was required urgently. An urgent inspection of part of the structure was undertaken about six weeks before the incident in response to a further report of possible loose concrete. The report did not relate to the area from which concrete fell on 1 August and the person undertaking the inspection reported that the concrete was not in danger of falling off.

After the incident, Network Rail removed concrete from about half the area under of the bridge.

The RAIB will consider how safety of the structure was being managed and whether the repeated need to remove loose concrete indicated a need for the precautionary removal of some or all concrete from the underside of the bridge before the incident occurred.

The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the Office of Rail Regulation.

At the conclusion of the preliminary examination the RAIB will publish its findings on the RAIB website. These findings will be available on the RAIB website.

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