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April 19, 2005

Incident on the Line

Vicky Woods talks about an "incident on the line" as she was rushing for a train.

What amazed me was the speed with which the police and station staff worked like mad to get the station working again (tarpaulins and taped-off areas only minutes later). Also their non-PC fury and robust plain language: "fatality" or "suicide" - not mealy-mouthed "incident".

"I've seen four or five on this line. Always men, yeah - never seen a woman do it." "Bloody selfish, I call it."

"There's a young lad been sent to help clean up and he's only on work experience! Second week, that's all, poor young man."

"Some drivers never work again, you know. Specially the ones who've not been doing it that long. Finishes them off, it does. Three weeks off with counselling and that, but they never come back, some of them." "Bloody selfish, I'm telling you."

Everyone tutted and moaned, but nobody was blaming Tony Blair, Railtrack, Whitehall, the management, the unions, the media or any other punching-bags of the modern British "blame culture". Very refreshing, oddly.

I remember seeing a woman throw herself under a tube train a couple of decades ago. No, I don’t want to go into details. But ever since I’ve wanted to throttle station announcers when they talk about "an incident on the line". Sometimes it is just that, an incident, but from what I have been told at least once a day it is a suicide. Why not actually tell people what’s happened?

April 19, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Leave it alone Tim, "The wrong type of body on the line". We would then want to know, Colour, age, sex and religion.

Posted by: Anoneumouse | Apr 19, 2005 9:12:31 AM

Because the question of whether it's a suicide, misadventure, unlawful killing or open verdict is for a coroner to decide, not a TfL employee who wasn't even an eyewitness.

Posted by: dsquared | Apr 19, 2005 4:06:20 PM

There should be a little booth at the end of the tracks where you can walk in, grab the two rails and get some "free electricity".

The if some annoying fecker did jump infront of the train we just hose it down and carry on till the end of the day.

Posted by: Rob Read | Apr 19, 2005 9:10:30 PM