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Update on boys injured at Bescot rail depot as patrols continue

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It is a week since two teenagers were injured on the railway in Bescot and officers are issuing more details about what happened, in a bid to stop other youngsters coming to harm.

At around midday on Thursday, 1 June, police were called to a freight yard following reports two 13-year-old boys had received electric shocks.

One boy was taken to hospital with severe burns, where he remains. Another boy, who was with him at the time, also received treatment for minor burns.

Following enquiries, it has become apparent the boys entered the depot through an unauthorised access point at the site fence line. Once on the site, one of the boys got on top of a freight train. At this point, he either came into contact with an overhead electricity cable or the current – which can jump three metres from the line to nearby objects – arced, transferring 25,000 volts through his body and resulting in 40 per cent burns.

The other boy went to help by pushing him away from the current but in touching him, also received an electric shock.

“We do not intend to cause alarm or upset people by revealing these details,” said Inspector Jacqui Wilson from BTP. “Our intention is to explain what happened so people fully realise the dangers the railway poses.”

She added: “We are also not apportioning blame but simply setting out the risks to try and stop others from taking them.

“One boy is extremely lucky to be alive and we continue to support his family following this tragic incident.

“Our focus now is to stop this from happening again and to work with the community to protect other children. We are patrolling the area to deter trespassers and we are visiting local schools and talking to students to make sure they understand the hazards of the railway.

“Tonight (8 June) we’ll be handing out leaflets in the community and we continue to work with our partners in the rail industry to assess security measures at the site, which is the largest freight yard in the region.”

DB Cargo UK, who own part of the site, said: “Our thoughts remain with the boys and their families and friends. Railway yards can be dangerous places to members of the public, which is why we support our industry partners wherever possible to highlight the dangers and the importance of safety on the railways. We are continuing to do all we can to assist with the investigation in order to establish the full circumstances of the incident.”

Due to a recent increase in trespass at the site, the parents of one of the children involved had warned their son about the dangers of playing in such a hazardous area.

Insp Wilson said: “It is encouraging to see parents are already having this conversation but sometimes children may not fully understand what they are told.

“We would urge people to help us reinforce the message around the dangers and we are providing this update so parents have all the facts available to them in order to make the conversation as relevant as it can be.

“If you have not yet spoken to your children, then I’d urge you to do so immediately and help us drive home the reality of trespass by reminding them they are real tracks, with real trains and real life consequences.”

More information on trespass and railway safety can be found here: btp.police.uk/realitycheck

For more on the electrification of the railway, visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communitites/safety-in-the-community/safety-education/

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