A TEENAGER suffered serious injuries after falling onto a railway track into the path of an oncoming train.
Police and ambulance crews were called to Ramsgreave and Wilpshire station after reports that the youth, named locally as Reuben Hirst, fell 25ft and was trapped under the train.
The Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe service stopped suddenly as it approached the station, witnesses said.
Reuben suffered serious injuries in the fall, including a broken pelvis, police said, but was not thought to have been injured by the train because he fell between the rails.
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It took crews half an hour to rescue him, before he was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, which was put on standby to deal with his ‘major trauma’, an ambulance spokeswoman said.
The incident, at around 7pm on Friday, saw trains between Blackburn and Clitheroe delayed for several hours.
Train passenger Faisal Latif, 29, of Wensley Road, Blackburn, was travelling to Ramsgreave to see his girlfriend when the incident happened.
He said: “As we were pulling up to the station, I stood up ready to get off the train. But it just stopped suddenly and the train’s engine turned off.
“The conductor was walking around saying the train can’t move because there was someone underneath it.
“Ten minutes later he said the person under the train was alive and well, but the train couldn’t move.
“The conductor was really good at keeping everybody informed.
“We were there for between 25 and 35 minutes before they moved him. “When we left the station, the police were asking a group of teenagers, aged around 18, if the lad was drunk.”
Yesterday, messages were posted on social media sites by shocked friends.
Miles Charnley wrote on Twitter: “Hope you’re okay, bro.”
And Olivia Gill wrote: “Love love love my baby @ReubenHirst xxxxxxxx.”
The incident has led to calls for improved safety on the bridge, with only a four feet tall fence and wall stopping people from accessing the railway.
Wilpshire councillor and Ribble Valley council leader Stuart Hirst said he would now call on the council to work with Northern Rail to improve safety at the bridge.
He said: “This was an extremely sad event. I will be asking to look at the safety measures that are in place with a view to discussing it with Northern Rail.
“I would like to offer my thoughts to the young man and his family.”
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “I didn’t see it happen on Friday night, but I saw a lad knelt on the floor next to the train when I was there, which wasn’t long.”
A spokesman for British Transport Police said the incident was not being treated as suspicious, but appealed for witnesses to call 0800 405040.