Man 'sucked' onto live train tracks saved by friends

Chris Dos Santos suffered severe burns and multiple cardiac arrests

Updated: 
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."


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