Surrey

Southern Railway apology to family after train doors mistake

A rail firm has apologised after train doors closed and almost trapped a Surrey mother and two of her children.

Amanda Gibb, from Ashtead, was taking nine-month old Ava, three year-old Katie and Max, 11, home by train.

The doors closed before the whole family were aboard and Ms Gibb has said her son is now having nightmares and her daughter refuses to go on a train.

Southern said the "very serious" incident, at Epsom station, was "very rare" but should not have happened.

'Process failed'

Steve Enright, head of safety, said: "We have undertaken a thorough and detailed investigation.

"I spoke to Ms Gibb myself to apologise for this, it shouldn't have happened.

"That investigation does indicate that we failed to carry out our correct process and that has resulted in the doors closing."

Ms Gibb and her three children were waiting for the 3.57 train on the platform of Epsom station on 29 December.

When the train arrived a fellow passenger helped her get Ava and the buggy on board.

As Ms Gibb turned to help three-year old Katie and Max, 11, on to the train, the doors began to close on the children.

Ms Gibb used her legs the stop the doors trapping the children.

"The doors closed on to my legs," she said.

"So I'm standing prising the doors open with my legs, holding Katie by one hand and the pram with the other.

"Fortunately, from somewhere, Max was able to have the savvy to give Katie a huge, hefty shove and then leap into the train himself."

"After I'd done that then, of course, you start imagining what could have happened."

Southern Railway issued a statement which said: "By studying the CCTV images we were able to see Ms Gibb's party boarding the train and the doors closing on her family.

"Dispatch staff were present on the platform and should have given the dispatch signal once everyone was on the train, however it appears that this process failed and the doors began to close before the party had finished boarding.

"Our investigation will now establish where the failure occurred by interviewing the staff concerned and the necessary actions will be taken to ensure this does not happen again."

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