On 24 November 2012, at 22:26 hrs, a member of the public fell between a train and the edge of platform three at Charing Cross (main line) station in London. The train began to move a few seconds after she fell; she came into contact with the wheels and suffered life-changing injuries. The train stopped after moving about 43 metres.
The train was dispatched by a member of staff on the platform, who operated an indicator which told the train driver when it was safe to start. The person approached the train after this indicator had been operated, and the dispatcher had no means of alerting the train driver to what had happened. The train was stopped by a passenger on board who operated the emergency communication handle. The person who was injured fell into the gap between the platform and the train bodyside, at a point between sets of train doors.
The RAIB has identified one learning point for the railway industry arising from this investigation, covering the particular hazards that should be addressed in the industry’s response to the RAIB’s previous recommendation concerning the train dispatch process, made following the investigation into a fatal accident at James Street, Liverpool, in October 2011.