At around 14:00 hrs on Friday 7 September 2018, a Thameslink train service, travelling from St Albans City to Sutton, made its scheduled stop at Elstree & Borehamwood station. The doors opened and a female passenger, with a walking frame and luggage, started to board the train; the passenger was accompanied by her dog. While the passenger was boarding the train, and having placed her luggage on it, the doors closed and the train departed. The passenger and her dog were left on the platform, but the dog’s lead was trapped in the train doors. The dog was dragged by the lead, onto the track and was subsequently found, deceased, in a tunnel a short distance from the station.
The passenger was uninjured, although the accident caused her very considerable distress.
The RAIB’s investigation will determine the sequence of events and consider:
- the processes and procedures used for the dispatch of trains on the Thameslink route
- the ability of the train doors to detect trapped objects
- systems used by Govia Thameslink Railway to ensure the competence of drivers when operating and dispatching trains on this route
- the systems and displays made available to train drivers which allow them to determine when it is safe to close train doors and dispatch a train from a station
- any previous similar incidents
- any other relevant underlying management factors
Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.
We will publish our findings, including any safety recommendations, at the conclusion of our investigation; these will be available on our RAIB website.
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