Investigation launched after dog dragged to its death by train

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An investigation has been launched into the death of a dog dragged along a railway station platform when its lead became trapped in train doors.

The accident happened when disabled pensioner Rose Barry was struggling to board a Thameslink train at Elstree and Borehamwood station, Hertfordshire, with her Shih Tzu Jonty, walking frame and luggage.

The doors closed with the 75-year-old retired nurse and her dog still on the platform, trapping her hand.

She was able to pull herself free but the lead was stuck in the doors, resulting in Jonty being dragged when the train departed.

He was subsequently found dead in a tunnel near the station.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating a number of issues, including:

– Procedures used for dispatching Thameslink trains.

– The ability of train doors to detect trapped onjects.

– Systems used by Govia Thameslink Railway to ensure the competence of drivers when operating and dispatching trains on this route.

The accident occurred on September 7 at around 2pm and involved a train travelling from St Albans City to Sutton.

Ms Barry, who has back problems, told the Press Association: “It was terrible.

“There is a curve in the platform and either the driver couldn’t, or failed to, look at the CCTV.

“He should have been able to see me standing there, half on the train.

“Obviously he didn’t because the doors shut and he left immediately. There was no hesitation.

“I hammered the doors. Yelled at everybody.”

A Thameslink spokesman said: “We are very sorry for the distress caused to Ms Barry by this deeply upsetting incident. We launched an immediate investigation and informed the RAIB.”

The RAIB will publish its findings and any safety recommendations at the conclusion of its investigation.

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