Train track incidents at six-year high

Last updated 07:47 31/10/2012

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A man struck by a train in Takanini last Friday died in hospital one day after his 90th birthday.

Police spokesman Lou Alofa says Noel Henry Tobin suffered a "glancing blow" after crossing the tracks from a pedestrian walkway in Station Rd on Friday morning.

He was "barely nicked" but had suffered "very critical injuries", Mr Alofa says.

Emergency services were called to the scene about 10.30am and Mr Tobin was taken to Middlemore Hospital where he died later that day.

A funeral for Mr Tobin was held in Papakura yesterday.

It was the third time someone had been hit by a train this month with authorities saying the number of pedestrians being hit by trains in Auckland is at a six-year high.

On October 2, firefighters had to remove a critically injured man from under a train which hit him as he was crossing St Georges Rd in Avondale. A man was fatally struck at the same crossing on October 19.

On July 11 a man was killed at a Mt Albert crossing and in April a woman broke her ankle after a train dragged her and her bike along at St Lukes. Earlier that month a man died after he slipped under a train as it left the platform in Ranui.

After the October 19 incident, a KiwiRail spokesman said every death or injury on the tracks was avoidable and people needed to recognise the hazards and pay more attention to warning signs and signals.

"Our message is ‘Use your brain, tracks are for trains'. We encourage people to stay alert around train tracks, to only ever cross at legal pedestrian crossings and to always remove their headphones and not use cell phones when crossing tracks," the spokesman said.

KiwiRail said incidents where members of the public were injured or killed were also hard on the train drivers, who were given as much time off as they needed and offered counselling. Fairfax NZ

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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