Teens escape death on railway line
FIVE youngsters are lucky to be alive today after almost being hit by a train.Four of the 13 and 14-year-olds were on a stretch of line near Tuddenham Road in Ipswich when a train narrowly avoided them.
FIVE youngsters are lucky to be alive today after almost being hit by a train.
Four of the 13 and 14-year-olds were on a stretch of line near Tuddenham Road in Ipswich when a train narrowly avoided them. The fifth boy had been on the embankment.
British Transport Police's Sergeant Bob Munn said: "Four had walked a couple of hundred yards up the track. Luckily they looked up and saw the train coming.
"One had stayed on the embankment, which is also an offence. The embankment is very slippery. There is grease and partially covered holes. It is not difficult to fall on to the tracks.
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"They could very easily have been killed by a train. We have pictures of children who have played on the tracks but we cannot show them to the boys as they would be too traumatic and we would be prosecuted."
The five Year Nine pupils left Northgate High School during their lunch break yesterday.
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A member of the public notified BTP and a train driver contacted police moments later after nearly colliding with the boys.
Headteacher Neil Watts said the school had worked closely with British Transport Police to identify the teenagers.
He added the boys had admitted that four of them crossed the tracks while one was on the embankment.
Mr Watts said: "The boys have been identified and their families contacted.
"They shouldn't even have been off-site. They were out without any permission whatsoever.
"We continually remind pupils about where they should and shouldn't be and remind them of the dangers of the railway line."
BTP are concerned that with the nights drawing out and the weather getting warmer more youngsters will be tempted to play on the tracks.
Sgt Munn added: "This is not the time to start playing on the tracks. It could very easily have been my officers going round to tell the parents that their sons were not coming home tonight or any other night.
"This is a stupid thing to do, trains are very fast and very quiet - there is no second chance."
This is the second incident reported on the stretch of track this week. On Monday youngsters were seen throwing stones at trains although there is nothing to suggest that the two incidents were related.
Sgt Munn added: "It is not only being struck by a train. There are dangers associated with playing on tracks. Some lines have 250,000 volts going through them and would kill instantly.
"There are also obvious trip hazards and tracks can be very uneven. The infrastructure is old and is not designed to walk on.
"The message is really to parents - do you know where your children are or what they are doing?"
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