Rail suicides increase by 25pc
27 June 2005
BRUSSELS — The number of people committing suicide by jumping in front of a train increased by 25 percent last year.
There were also a higher number of incidents in which stones and other objects were thrown against trains.
Rail authority NMBS/SNCB says it is powerless to prevent such incidents, pointing out the mammoth task of fencing off the nation’s rail lines.
Socialist SP.A State Enterprises Minister Johan Vande Lanotte said 106 suicides were committed on the railway last year compared with 88 in 2003. There were also 82 attempted suicides.
Accidents on or near the railway accounted for an additional 15 deaths, newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ reported on Monday. It means 121 rail-related deaths occurred last year.
But despite the figures, rail traffic has become safer. Out of 1,131 incidents, 121 deaths were recorded compared with ‘just’ 992 incidents in 2003 and 114 deaths. The number of attempts to block the railways also declined last year.
Figures that were of concern though were the increased number of incidents in which stones or other objects were thrown against passing trains. There were 367 such incidents last year, compared with 301 in 2003.
No one was killed in these incidents, but NMBS/SNCB spokeswoman Leen Uytterhoeven said the rail company was urging police to place the highest priority on combating such crimes.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news