Commuter crushed to death after falling unseen into Tube gap at Waterloo

Credit: PA

A commuter was trapped and crushed to death by a Tube train after he fell down the gap on the northbound Bakerloo line train at Waterloo, an investigation has found.

Tube staff did not spot the man after he slipped and fell on to the track where he lay for more than a minute before being hit by a second train, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.

The accident, on May 26 2020, happened at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when passenger numbers were hugely down.

The RAIB said the man had “stumbled” while getting off the train and fell into a large gap caused by the curve of the track at Waterloo Station at around 10.10am.

He was unable to free himself from and was trapped for more than a minute before being crushed by the departing train.

He then lay “motionless” for a further minute and a half before being hit by a second train entering the station.

The RAIB report said that, due to the man’s position on the tracks, he was “difficult” to detect on despatch monitors and was not seen by train operators.

No other people were present to assist the man or raise the alarm, the report said.

Passenger levels on the Underground on May 26 2020 were 9% of the equivalent day in 2019, according to data from the Department of Transport (DfT).

The investigation concluded that London Underground was not able to identify or provide detailed assessment of all factors, such as curved platforms, that contributed to risks of accidents at certain Tube stations.

The RAIB recommended that ongoing evaluation of existing safety measures be undertaken at stations as well as “periodic” risk assessments for individual locations.