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Call for action after death of woman, 36, who fell onto tracks at Limehouse DLR

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 June 2020

Flora Shen died at Limehouse station after falling from the platform into the path of an oncoming train. Picture: Google

Flora Shen died at Limehouse station after falling from the platform into the path of an oncoming train. Picture: Google

Archant

The death of a woman who fell onto tracks at a DLR station has prompted a call for action to prevent more fatalities.

Flora Shen died at Limehouse station after falling from the platform into the path of an oncoming train on January 6.

CCTV shows the 36-year- old standing behind the yellow line at the far end of a platform before moving forward and dropping onto the tracks.

It goes on to show Ms Shen’s arm reaching up, though a coroner’s report states it is unclear whether she was trying to prevent a fall or struggling to climb out.

A witness sitting at the front of the train saw Ms Shen fall, but couldn’t find a way to stop the DLR. A second witness, seeing Ms Shen was unable to get up, raced to press the emergency button, but it was too late.

A prevention of future deaths report sent to transport bosses by assistant coroner Jonathan Stevens notes that of 41 DLR stations, only four are manned.

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Three matters of concerns are highlighted in the report, the first of which is the steps required to halt a train with a guard using a key to activate the emergency brake.

After a passenger hits the alarm, the worker has to go to a telephone, unlock it with a key, ask why it was triggered, replace the phone, lock it again, then use a key to activate the brake.

The ability to respond to danger on the line is “sometimes” dependent on a member of the public noticing in time to stop a train, the report notes.

The DLR line’s CCTV monitoring is unable to cover all stations at the same time, meaning safety “seems to rely” on the public spotting dangers.

Mr Stevens urges TfL and regulator the Office of Rail and Road to act to prevent future deaths.

Trish Ashton, TfL’s general manager for DLR, said: “Safety is our top priority and we are constantly focused on reducing the risk of death or serious injury across our network. We are now reviewing the coroner’s report and the issues that have been raised.”

An Office of Rail and Road spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with the friends and family of Flora Shen and we will respond to the coroner in due course.

“We will consider the matters raised and any action or measures we require.”


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