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Commuter killed on tracks after falling through gap at Tube station during height of pandemic

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A commuter was killed after he fell through a gap between a London Underground train and a station platform, an investigation has found.

The incident – which saw the man crushed by the train and hit by a second – took place on 26 May, last year, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, which meant no staff or members of the public were present to help him.

At 10.10am, the passenger fell into a large gap between the platform and the northbound Bakerloo train he had just alighted, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.

The incident happened at the height of the pandemic. File pic
Image: The incident happened at the height of the pandemic. File pic

He was unable to free himself and the train departed with the man still in the gap, crushing him as it moved off.

He remained on the tracks where he was hit by a second train that entered the station.

The RAIB said he was difficult to detect on the despatch at Waterloo, as only his head and arms were above platform level, so he was not seen by the train operator.

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It added: “The operator of the following train was unaware of the passenger because their attention was focused on the platform and the train’s stopping point.”

Passenger levels on the Underground that day were 9% of the equivalent day in 2019, according to data from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The investigation concluded that London Underground was not able to identify or provide a detailed assessment of all factors, such as curved platforms, that contributed to risks of accidents at certain stations.

The RAIB recommended that ongoing evaluation of existing safety measures be undertaken at stations as well as “periodic” risk assessments for individual locations.