Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PUSHED INTO THE PATH OF A TRAIN; Woman Cheats Death as Crowds Pack Platform on Day of Strike

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PUSHED INTO THE PATH OF A TRAIN; Woman Cheats Death as Crowds Pack Platform on Day of Strike

Article excerpt

Byline: WAYNE VEYSEY;DICK MURRAY

A YOUNG WOMAN escaped death by seconds when sheer overcrowding led to her being pushed off a station platform onto the tracks.

Karina Barfoed-Eccles, 27, was among the huge morning rush-hour crowds at rail stations during last Thursday's Tube strike which brought the Underground to a virtual halt.

She was waiting at the edge of the platform at Acton Central station when a surge from frustrated passengers massed behind her saw her pushed onto the tracks. She escaped certain death under an arriving train by seconds after the quick actions of two fellow commuters - both strangers - who reached down, each grabbing an arm, and pulled her back on to the platform. She could have been electrocuted by the live rail close to where she landed.

Today she described the "horrifying" sequence of events that led to her fall, which is now the subject of two separate investigations. Mrs Barfoed-Eccles landed inside the running rails but on her feet. "I am incredibly lucky to be alive," she said. "What if it had been somebody who was too heavy to yank up, or a child? There were children on the platform. It is horrifying." She is today making a formal written complaint to Silverlink, the train operator, saying that the platforms were far too crowded for safety.

"There should have been crowd control.

There were too many people on the platform or this would not have happened.

"The ticket staff, who I could not find when this happened, should have used their commonsense. It did not need that many brain cells to work out that with so many people there was going to be an accident of some description."

Mrs Barfoed-Eccles said she did not see any staff on the platform but added that it was so crowded "they would not have been able to get through to me anyway".

More Tube strikes are threatened and train drivers warned the same thing could happen again. Tube drivers also warned of increasingly crowded stations. One driver said: "The hold-ups in service mean the platforms are packed.

"You come out of the tunnel into the station and the sight of all those people right on the edge of the platform is really worrying. …

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