Investigation Reveals, Toddler Fell Through Compartment Gate without Alternative Locking System in Tourist Railcar
On June 2, a nineteen month old boy fell from the compartment of a slow moving train, plunging 8.9 meters on a mountain slope. The boy had received injuries and the incident drew attention and investigation that says a Coromandel tourist attraction has to alter the way it operates.
The investigation by the NZ Transport Agency concluded that an open compartment gate led to the fall of the child and not the side of the compartment which was initially thought to be the cause earlier suggested by media reports.
Debbie Despard, from Transport Agency National Manager Rail Safety said, "Without a witness to the accident, we have to assume the child opened the gate while his parents were momentarily distracted."
The gate was shut securely with a latch and the investigation suggested that it was in good condition. However there was no secondary locking system. NZTA wants Driving Creek Railway to take up a range of corrective measures which will minimize the risk and help in avoiding such kind of accidents in the future.
Following the accident, the Transport Agency imposed certain conditions on three railcars of the Driving Creek Railway. The operation will not be allowed to transport children who are below five years of age and all the passengers on the rail cars have to have their own seats.
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