Railway death of teenagers “preventable”, say parents

The grief-stricken families of two teenagers who were hit by a train on their way home from a party have attacked railway operators for not doing more to prevent access to tracks.

A joint inquest into the deaths of Dylan Canavan and Daniel Kyrianou, both 19, was held at Walthamstow Coroners Court on Tuesday, and Coroner Jacqueline Devonish will now write to Network Rail to ascertain what steps have been taken to secure the line since the tragedy.

Speaking after a jury delivered a unanimous finding of misadventure, members of both families criticised the lack of security at stations.

Gary Canavan, Dylan’s dad, said: “There’s nothing to stop people walking from one station to another if they miss the last train.

“The rail companies are not taking responsibility for people’s lives. It was a really preventable accident.”

Mr Canavan’s thoughts were echoed by Daniel’s mother, Diane Kyrianou.

She said: “All the railway companies are interested in is profit. I don’t think they are bothered about human life.”

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The two friends, who had been drinking, left a party in Rainham before midnight last November, intending to catch the last train back to their homes on the Isle of Dogs. When they realised they had missed it, they decided to attempt to walk home of more than 10 miles along the railway track.

During the inquest, the court heard evidence from the driver of the train which hit them, Mamoon Malik.

He described seeing them at the last minute due to the foggy conditions. “I just saw both of them put their arms up in a defensive stance, with a look of horror on their faces.

“In my opinion it was a very unfortunate and tragic accident”, he added.

Ms Kyrianou paid tribute to her late son outside the court. “He was a very talented young rapper”, she said. “Everybody who knew him will always remember him.”

Mr Canavan said of his son: “He was always there for any of his friends of family. He was the life and soul of a party, and he was a terrific musician and singer.

“More than 1,000 people came to his funeral - everybody who knew him loved him, and they all still miss him.”