Rail line death 'not suspicious'

A MAN who was killed by a train near a village level crossing is believed to have thrown himself into the path of the locomotive.

James Mortlock

A MAN who was killed by a train near a village level crossing is believed to have thrown himself into the path of the locomotive.

British Transport Police (BTP) have launched an investigation into the tragedy, at Santon Downham, near Brandon, early on Saturday, but last night they confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Emergency services were called to the level crossing at just before 9.30am but the man was pronounced dead at the scene and is thought to have died instantly.

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Train services between Norfolk and Cambridge and Norwich and Peterborough were disrupted for around two hours after the incident, which is the second of its kind at the picturesque village in only five years.

Stephen Edwards, Forest Heath district councillor for the village, said he was saddened by the death: “This is tragic news. It sounds very similar to a suicide close to the level crossing a few years ago.”

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But he said there were no safety issues surrounding the automatic single barrier crossing: “As far as I know there have never been any problems and I haven't got any concerns. If people want to get on to the track then they will.”

Mr Edwards said his sympathy went to the family of the man involved and to the driver of the train and any witnesses. “I always feel extremely sorry for the driver who has to live with this for the rest of his life - that's no joke,” he said.

“It is also a tragedy for the man and his family and they have my sympathy - it's an exceedingly sad thing to have happened.”

A spokesman for the BTP said the incident involved the 8.40am train from Norwich to Cambridge: “We were advised that the passenger train had struck a person at 9.27am at the Santon Downham level crossing.

“The male person was declared deceased at the scene and the BTP are investigating on behalf of the coroner. We are satisfied that this is a non-suspicious incident.”

He said rail services on the line were resumed at 10.38am.

The spokesman appealed for anyone with information relating to the incident to contact the BTP on 0800 405040 quoting reference number 170 and Saturday's date. He was unable to release the age of the man who died or say whether he was local to the Brandon area.

An ambulance service spokesman said one crew was sent to the scene.

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