Southend train worker suspended over track rescue

Rail users at Southend Central said the suspension decision was "shocking"

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A railway worker has been suspended after going on to train tracks in Essex to help a disabled woman who had fallen off the platform edge.

The member of platform staff at Southend Central station was one of a number of people who went to the elderly woman's aid on 28 August.

The tracks were clear by the time the next train arrived at the station.

A spokesman for train company c2c said its employee had been suspended while an investigation took place.

He said: "We have strict rules regarding the safety procedure for the quickest way of stopping trains in an emergency.

"An employee has been suspended while our investigation into this incident continues."

'Absolutely diabolical'

Bob Crow, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, said the decision to suspend the worker was "diabolical".

"What did they expect him to do - just stand by and watch?" he said.

"All this person did was what anyone with any common sense would have done.

"He is one of our members and we will be supporting him. This is absolutely diabolical."

The nearest train was about a quarter of a mile away when the people were on the tracks. The driver did not have to apply emergency brakes.

An East of England Ambulance spokeswoman said paramedics were called at about 18:15 BST to treat a disabled woman, aged in her early 70s, who had fallen off the platform.

She added the woman, a wheelchair user, was taken to hospital for checks and was not critically injured.

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