Report 17/2008: Incident at Tooting Broadway station

Incident at Tooting Broadway station, Northern Line, London Underground, 1 November 2007.


A passenger was alighting from a southbound train at Tooting Broadway after the door warnings had sounded when the doors closed, trapping the hem of her coat. The train began to move before she was able to extract her coat, but the passenger was able to take the coat off, falling to the platform in the process.

The RAIB investigation identified the immediate cause as the train operator not observing the situation on the platform as he went through the train starting process. Causal factors were:

  • the train operator not observing that all passengers were clear of the train doors before starting the train
  • the train operator focussing on the line ahead instead of monitoring the station platform on his CCTV
  • the passenger leaving the train shortly before it departed, as the alarm was sounding.

The investigation has established that an apparently disproportionate amount of instances of persons being dragged by closed doors occurs on the Northern Line when compared with the rest of the London Underground.

London Underground Limited has issued a reminder to train operators of the correct procedure to be used when departing from a station, otherwise RAIB would have made a recommendation in this area.

RAIB has recommended that London Underground investigates why the Northern Line experiences a greater than expected proportion of this type of incident and take any appropriate steps as a result of their investigation to reduce the rate on the Northern Line towards that on other LUL lines.

Response to recommendations:

  • RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body.
  • RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.

RAIB Recommendation response for Tooting Broadway

Published 10 December 2014