Teen electrocuted after putting ear to railway track to 'listen' for late train

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A teenager died after putting his ear on a live railway line to see if his train was coming, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

Kanwal Butt, who had moved to the UK from Pakistan 18 months before, was wondering where his late train was, and wanted to know if it was on its way.

He put his ear to the line at the station in Godstone, Surrey, on 7 August 2013, and was killed instantly by a massive electric shock.

CCTV footage shows Kanwal putting his head to the line. According to the Daily Mail, Detective Sergeant Danny Stockdale, of British Transport Police, said: "It shows Mr Butt arriving at the station at about 10.09pm, on his own, carrying a suitcase.

"He goes onto the platform. He jumps down onto the tracks crosses the tracks on foot, on to the other platform, where he is for a couple of minutes, then crosses back over the tracks.

"He stays for a few seconds, goes down on the tracks, goes on to his knees, leans forward, puts his head onto the tracks.'

He added that the next thing visible was smoke, before Kanwal's body was seen lying on the line.

In a police statement read out at the hearing, Kanwal's father, Amjad, said his son, who he described as a "lovely, lively, happy boy", probably did not know about live rails.

According to the Mirror, he said: "He has never travelled alone by train.

"In Pakistan trains operate on coal or diesel. I don't think Kanwal would have known the rails are full of electricity.

"In Pakistan you can walk across the track."

Parshuram Pandey, from the Lal Akash restaurant where Kanwal worked in Godstone, also told The Sun: "In Pakistan, to find out if a train is approaching you would kneel on the ground and put your ear to the rail."

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