At around 21:30 hrs on 6 February 2017, at Bank Station on the Docklands Light Railway, part of a coat worn by a passenger on the platform became trapped in the closing door of a train. The passenger was unable to release her coat from the closed door, but managed to partially take off her coat before it was dragged from her as the train departed. The passenger was not injured, but was distressed by the incident.
The incident occurred because the part of the coat which was trapped was too small to be detected by the obstacle detection system fitted to the train door. Additionally, the design of the door nosing rubbers meant that a relatively high pull force was required by the passenger to extract her coat. The member of Docklands Light Railway (DLR) staff on the train was unaware that the coat was trapped. His position when dispatching the train meant that he was dependent on a CCTV system to observe the doors during the dispatch, but defects in this CCTV system meant that the staff member was unable to observe the door of the train at which the incident occurred.
As a result of this investigation, the RAIB has made three recommendations. One recommendation is made to Keolis Amey Docklands, in conjunction with Docklands Light Railway Limited, to review the design of door nosing rubbers with a view to reducing the forces needed to remove trapped objects. The second recommendation, made to Docklands Light Railway Limited, seeks that their specification for new trains to be procured gives adequate consideration to the safety learning from this investigation in relation to pull-out forces. The third recommendation is also made to Keolis Amey Docklands; this is to improve its processes for the management of platform observation equipment.
The RAIB has also repeated a learning point for staff responsible for the dispatching of trains; that door obstacle detection systems are not always able to detect small objects and therefore it is vital that a final, visual, safety check is made to ensure that no object is trapped in a closed door prior to a train being allowed to depart from a station.
Notes to editors
- The sole purpose of RAIB investigations is to prevent future accidents and incidents and improve railway safety. RAIB does not establish blame, liability or carry out prosecutions.
- RAIB operates, as far as possible, in an open and transparent manner. While our investigations are completely independent of the railway industry, we do maintain close liaison with railway companies and if we discover matters that may affect the safety of the railway, we make sure that information about them is circulated to the right people as soon as possible, and certainly long before publication of our final report.
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Newsdate: 21 September 2017