July 22, 2013 | Mark Paradies

UK RAIB Press Release: Passenger trapped in train doors and dragged a short distance at Newcastle Central station, 5 June 2013

The RAIB is investigating an incident at Newcastle Central station, in which a passenger was trapped in train doors, and dragged a short distance, as the train started to move out of the station. The train moved less than one coach length and did not pick up much speed, so the passenger was able to remain on her feet. However, she was shaken and suffered soft tissue damage to her wrist.

At about 17:00 hrs, a 3-car multiple unit train was standing at platform 10 waiting to form train 1P59, the 17:02 hrs Transpennine Express service from Newcastle to Manchester Airport. Shortly before the scheduled departure time, a passenger approached the train from the ticket office end (near field in the photograph), intending to board. The doors on the first (rear) coach were closed, but the rear set of doors on the middle coach was still open.

 Cms Resources Newcastle-Central
Three-car multiple unit standing at Newcastle Central station platform 10 (courtesy of First Transpennine Express)

These doors were closing as the passenger reached them, so she put her right hand between the door leaves expecting this to cause them to re-open. They did not; closing around her right wrist and trapping it. The train then started to move, forcing the passenger to walk and jog alongside.

As the train started to move, the conductor, who was leaning out of the rear cab window, could not see the trapped passenger due to the curvature of the platform. Passengers on board the train observed what had occurred and pulled the emergency door release which had the effect of applying the brakes. Another person standing on the platform shouted to the conductor to stop the train and the conductor applied the emergency brake.

The incident was not reported to the RAIB until 3 July 2013.

The RAIB’s investigation will examine the sequence of events leading up to the incident, including the dispatch of the train and how the presence of obstructions that are trapped in doors are detected. It will consider how the risk associated with trains departing from the tightly curved platform was assessed and mitigated, and how the incident was reported and investigated by First Transpennine Express.

The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).

The RAIB will publish a report, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.

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