A woman and toddler have both been killed after the woman jumped in front of a morning rush hour train dragging her child with her.
British Transport Police, Metropolitan police officers, and emergency services were called to Riddlesdown rail station near Purley, south London, England at around 8.20 am.
The woman is said to have dragged her child, believed to be a boy aged around two or three-years-old, into the path of a speeding train.
The train was not scheduled to stop at the station and is thought to have been traveling at around 60 mph. The station has been temporarily closed while the emergency services and police investigate. Electrical power to the track lines was turned off while officials retrieved the bodies and took evidence.
The line is not expected to re-open until around 4 pm (local time) today and replacement buses are currently in operation between Woldingham and South Croydon and Purley to enable crews to deal with the incident. This has resulted in major disruption to train services.
According to the UK’s Mail Online, a rail worker, who did not want to be named, said he spoke to the driver of the impacting train after the accident.
The rail worker said: “She jumped pulling the kid with her. The driver said she dragged the kid with her as she jumped in front of the train.”
Describing the train driver as “pretty shook up,” the rail worker said the driver was questioned by British Transport Police and would then be sent home as is normal in such situations.
British Transport Police said the incident happened at Riddlesdown rail station in Purley, near Croydon, at about 8.30am.
Commuter Paul Camlett, 38, said reporters: “I had just arrived at the station when the station master rounded everyone up and ordered them off the platform. Everyone was oblivious to what had happened.”
He added: “A woman screamed ‘there’s a body on the track.’ ‘I’m in complete shock. People were crying. They were in complete shock. The woman who screamed just could not speak.”
A spokeswoman for London Ambulance has confirmed that they responded to reports that there were two people under a train at the station at 08:30 am on Friday. A responder team was sent in a car, along with an ambulance crew and officers.
In addition, a spokesman for Network Rail said: “‘Two people were struck by a train at Riddlesdown station just before 8.30am this morning.”
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Simon Taylor added:
“Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the woman and child involved in this tragic incident.”
The Inspector added that early indications showed no-one else but the woman and the toddler are believed to have been involved in the tragedy. A file is now being prepared for the coroner.