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Miracle on the Jubilee line: Boy, 5, rescued from tube track after driver spots little hand reaching up from platform | Mail Online


 

Miracle on the Jubilee line: Boy, 5, who fell under Tube train as it pulled away rescued when driver spots little hand

By Eddie Wrenn

A boy of five was dramatically rescued after he fell under a Tube train just as it prepared to pull out of the station.

The driver had been given the ‘all-clear’ to pull out of Finchley Road station on Sunday evening when the boy – boarding just before his parents – slipped down the gap and tumbled onto the rails beneath the carriage.

As his desperate parents rushed to reach the boy, the driver prepared to drive – but carried out a quick last-minute check on his cabin’s CCTV and saw the boy’s hands reaching up as he tried to climb out.

Danger: Only the driver's quick-witted actions stopped a disaster when a boy, five, fell underneath the carriages at Finchley Road station

Danger: Only the driver’s quick-witted actions stopped a disaster when a boy, five, fell underneath the carriages at Finchley Road station

The unnamed driver, who was on his final northbound journey on Sunday night, has been hailed a hero for his careful observations and then his quick reactions in slamming on the breaks.

In a statement, the driver said: ‘A small child fell beneath my train trying to board while the doors were closing.

‘Thankfully, I saw something and was staring at the CCTV when I saw the hands come up on the platform.

‘My doors were closed with a pilot light (which meant the train was ready to leave). Had I not waited a few seconds I would have pressed the automatic train operation start and been at least one to two cars over him before the passenger emergency alarm was activated.’

The driver, who was making the final northbound journey of his shift, went on: ‘I’m just glad that my CCTV was working. Having kids of similar age, this has really hit home.’

Speed: If the train had departed the station, the boy would likely have been crushed by a couple of carriages

Speed: If the train had departed the station, the boy would likely have been crushed by a couple of carriages

Aslef, the driver union, stepped up their opposition to driverless Tube trains after the incident.

General secretary Mick Whelan said all the automatic devices in place showed the platform was clear and it was safe for the Tube train to depart – and only the driver’s action saved the child from death or injury.

He said: ‘The driver, on a final visual safety check, saw a tiny hand reaching up from the track.

‘The train remained in position and a young life was saved.

‘Mayor Boris Johnson has been playing politics with the issue of driverless trains. He thinks he is currying favour with voters with this stand. How many votes are a young child’s life worth? How would he explain to those watching horrified parents that his proposal is a good one?

‘On Sunday all the automatic devices showed the platform was clear. Only a driver could have averted a potential tragedy.

Overground, underground: Aslef said Boris Johnson should back down on driverless trains

Overground, underground: Aslef said Boris Johnson should back down on driverless trains

‘Boris Johnson is wrong to continue to push his policy for driverless Tube trains when it can threaten the lives of London’s travelling public. I want him to accept that it is a mistake.’

London Underground’s network services director Nigel Holness said: ‘In this case our staff followed their established safety procedures to bring the incident to a safe conclusion and without injury.

‘The whole design and operation of the network would be different with driverless trains and therefore we cannot compare the two.

‘Many incidents on the network are, and will always be, customer-related and we will of course always provide fully for handling those safely and efficiently.’

Transport for London confirmed that the child fell between a stationary train and the platform at Finchley Road station, adding that staff followed their established procedures to swiftly respond and bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

The child and parents were able to continue their journeys without reported injury.

It is standard safety practice for drivers at the station to check CCTV in their cabs before moving their trains off from the platforms and this process was followed correctly, said TfL.

Miracle on the Jubilee line: Boy, 5, rescued from tube track after driver spots little hand reaching up from platform | Mail Online

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March 1, 2012 - Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, Death, Health, nature, People, Star |

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