When accidents happen…………

The followingAi??article illustrates two items that many people here, on our side of the pond, are completely unaware of.

The first item is a investigation of a death on the Manchester (UK) LRT by the RAIB or Rail Accident Investigation Branch, an English organization. When a death occurs on SkyTrain, the public is completely unaware as the incident(s) are unduly hushed up. Though the vast majority of accidents and deaths on SkyTrainAi??are suicides or attempted suicides, there is little investigation, except for a shrug of the shoulders and; “Just another track jumper guys“, which has lead to the false belief that SkyTrain is very safe, when in fact it has a much higher death rate than comparable LRT operations.

Zwei believes all deaths that occur on SkyTrain must be investigated by an independent public body and not by police or the coroners office, which both have little expertise in rail matters.

When somebody does fall in front of a tram there is a device called a “life-saver” or “under-run protector” is activated, preventing the body coming in contact with the wheels and hopefully (but not always) preventing death. SkyTrain does not have such a safety system and when a body is run over, they have to literally jack the train off the dismembered body.

When accidents happen with any sort of rail transit, serious injuries occur, but with LRT there are several safety mechanisms that are not available to light-metro systems like SkyTrain.

Investigation into a fatal accident at Piccadilly Gardens, on the Manchester Metrolink tramway, on 5 June 2011

The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into a fatal accident that occurred at Piccadilly Gardens, in central Manchester, on 5 June 2011. At about 00:16 hrs tram 1002 was approaching Piccadilly Gardens, from the direction of Market Street, at a speed of about 9 mph (15 km/h) when a pedestrian ran into the path of the tram. The pedestrian appeared to try to stop before reaching the track but fell directly in front of the tram. The front part of the tram passed over the fallen pedestrian. Although the tram had started to brake before reaching the pedestrian, it did not come to a complete stand before the pedestrian had come into contact with the under-run protector. This is a device that projects down from the underside of the tram and is designed to prevent pedestrians from being crushed under the wheels of a tram.The pedestrian who had fallen under the tram was found by rescuers to be in close contact with the under-run protector. He was removed from under the tram and given emergency treatment at site. Unfortunately, he later died in hospital of his injuries.

The investigation will seek to understand the mechanism by which the injuries were caused to the pedestrian and the role played by the under-run protector. It will also review the history of accidents of this type on tramways.

The RAIBai??i??s investigation is independent of any investigations by the police and the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).

The RAIB will publish a report, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.


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