Man 'sucked' onto live train tracks saved by friends

Man 'sucked onto' train tracks saved by friends

A man "sucked" onto a live railway track by an electrical current has told how he escaped certain death after being pulled free by his friends.

Chris Dos Santos, 30, received a 750 volt shock after trying to cross the tracks at Totton, in Hampshire, during a day out drinking.

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He described how he nearly died when he slipped and fell onto the electrified rail that powers the trains that travel along the railway track - and found himself unable to move.

An electric shock causes a loss of muscle control - meaning the person cannot physically move away from the power source by themselves.

Mr Dos Santos told BBC News that the electrified rail "sucked" him in until friends managed to pull him free.

He explained: "I had a cardiac arrest .

"Three of my friends came and tried to help me but also received a shock. They thought I was going to die.

"The power was so immense, you can't get off the rail. I sort of accepted my fate.

"I had a moment of clarity and then I decided, no, this isn't going to happen to me, and that's when I pushed harder and shouted at my friends."

Mr Dos Santos is now trying to warn others of the dangers of crossing railway tracks. He spent three months recovering in hospital from severe burns and multiple cardiac arrests.

Mr Dos Santos also needed eight operations for injuries following the incident which occurred in August last year.

It has also left him suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and recurring nightmares.

Mr Dos Santos says he still sees the purple flashes - and can still smell his burnt body tissue - as he lay incapacitated on the ground.

He said: "People should understand how dangerous it is.

"You don't just put your life in danger, but others as well."

Mr Dos Santos now works with Network Rail to warn others about the dangers of the rail network.

Network Rail said it is publicising his story as there's often a 25% rise in alcohol-related incidents on railway tracks in December.

It warned that festive revellers must be aware of platform edges and pay attention when using level crossings.

Some 25 people have been killed and a further 82 seriously injured due to alcohol related incidents around platform edges during the past decade, according to the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

British Transport Police (BTP) figures show that between November 24 2015 and January 2 2016 the number of violent offences reported at train stations in Britain rose by 8% compared with the same period during the previous winter.

BTP's Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Bunyard said the rise in public order offences and antisocial behaviour during December is down to drunk people who behave in a way "they wouldn't dream of it they were sober".

He continued: "You can expect to see our officers out on the network helping people to enjoy the festivities safely and encouraging them to think about how alcohol can affect the way they behave and the effect this has on other passengers.

"We are asking you to keep a clear head.

"Think about what you would do and how you would behave if you were sober."

The UK's worst train stations
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The UK's worst train stations
This Edwardian station was built in the early 1900s and is operated by East Midlands Trains. 59 per cent of people surveyed said they were satisfied with the station - a low score which ranked it bottom for both cleanliness and facilities in the Passenger Focus National Passenger survey.

Birmingham New Street railway station is the largest and busiest serving Birmingham. Despite the regular flow of people, only 64% of passengers surveyed in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) are satisfied with the sation. 

London Bridge railway station is a central London railway station and a London Underground complex in the London Borough of Southwark. The station is the oldest railway station in central London and one of the oldest in the world. 67% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station, the fourth busiest station in London. 

Peterborough railway station is a major interchange serving both the north-south ECML, as well as East-West long-distance and local services. The station is managed by East Coast. Just 67% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station.

Crewe station was completed in 1837 and is one of the most historic railway stations in the world. Like London Bridge and Peterborough, only 67% of passengeres surveyed were happy with this station.

Gatwick Airport station provides a direct rail connection to London. The station platforms are located about 70 metres away from the airport's South Terminal. 69% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station.

Stockport railway station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations by a mystery shopper assessment in 2009. Despite improvements being made to the station since, it is still one of the ten worst stations with only 70% of passengers satisfied with the station.

Clapham Junction station is one of the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it with many routes from London's two busiest termini, London Waterloo and London Victoria. Only 71% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this busy station.

Maidenhead railway station serves the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. It is served by local services operated by First Great Western from London Paddington to Reading, and is also the junction for the Marlow Branch Line. The survey showed 71 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of the station, giving it the ninth lowest satisfaction rating. 

Coventry station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving. Despite this convenient feature, only 72% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with the station. 

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