Warning after woman dies in metro station

9th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Brussels transport company MIVB-STIB has urged passengers to observe safety procedures following the death of an elderly woman who was dragged along a city station by a departing metro this week.

9 February 2006

BRUSSELS — Brussels transport company MIVB-STIB has urged passengers to observe safety procedures following the death of an elderly woman who was dragged along a city station by a departing metro this week.

An MIVB-STIB spokeswoman said on Thursday safety mechanisms do not detect soft substances such as clothing that are caught between the doors.

"We can detect a foot, hand or an umbrella, but not pieces of clothing," Annemie Genbrugge said, adding that the warning signal served as the safety procedure for clothing.

"If the safety signal rings out, no one may step on or off. We conduct the necessary [safety] campaigns so that people know that it is dangerous to still try and step on," she said.

The warning from the MIVB-STIB came after an 83-year-old woman was killed in the metro station De Brouckère after her jacket was caught between the doors of a carriage on Wednesday.

"The carriage has been examined by the MIVB and was completely in order in regards safety," spokesman Jean-Pierre Alvin said.

The accident occurred at 4.22pm on Tuesday and was recorded by a digital camera. The Brussels public prosecution office has seized the video and has confirmed the woman's death was an accident.

The MIVB-STIB said the operator of the metro was not to blame for the accident. "The accident took place at the third carriage, some 40m away from the driver's rearview mirror," the company said.

The video footage shows how the victim, Yvonne L., of Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, starts talking to a person in the metro, possibly for information.

The woman was traveling with her grandson, who has confirmed the sequence of events, the public prosecution office said.

When the doors started to close after the warning noise, the victim tried to keep them open, but with insufficient strength, it seems.

The MIVB said if there was the slightest indication of resistance, the driver of the metro would have carried out the closing procedure again, which takes three seconds.

The driver could see the woman in his rearview mirror and thought that she was banging on the window because she had missed the train.

However, her jacket was caught between the doors and the woman was dragged 15m along the platform before falling between the carriage and the metro.

The woman — who was still conscious after her fall — was lifted up onto the platform by passengers and emergency services soon arrived on the scene, but the victim died at 5.22pm.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

0 Comments To This Article