Friday 4 April 2008

Close to the news.

I was on this train when this happened:

Toddler hit by train at rail halt

A two-year-old boy who sustained head injuries after being hit by a train near Bangor, County Down, is in a stable condition in hospital.

The accident happened as the train was leaving Seahill halt at Ballyrobert.

Ciaran Rogan from Translink said the driver had tried to stop the train before it hit the child. He comforted the boy until paramedics arrived.

The child is the son of a worker who lives at a Camphill care facility, which backs onto the tracks.

I don't have much to say about it. The driver and guard seemed to do a great job, as far as I could see. The interesting thing was that there was initially doubt about whether the train had hit the boy. The staff asked every passenger on the train whether any of us had seen what happened, because they were trying to figure out whether the train had hit him or he'd got his head injuries some other way. It was, of course, eventually confirmed that, yes, the train had hit him.

Speaking to a friend of mine from the PSNI's transport division later on, I got the one little detail that allowed the rest of the story to make sense: the boy had fallen and rolled down the embankment into the side of the train. That explains how the driver could have seen the boy ahead of the train but not been sure whether it had hit him: he must have seen the boy rolling down the embankment, stopped the train, and gone back and found the boy with head injuries.

The train was going very slowly at the time, but still, this kid must be one of the luckiest boys ever, to hit a moving train with his head and survive. From the side, as well, somehow without getting under the wheels. Unbelievable.

What the hell a two-year-old was doing wandering alone by a railway track, though....

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