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Train follows barefoot boy on tracks for 3 km

Train follows barefoot boy on tracks for 3 km

Published: 28 May 2012 17:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 May 2012 17:43 GMT+02:00

An autistic boy who was found walking on train tracks in central Sweden was followed by a train for three kilometres before he was finally helped off the tracks.

The boy, who is eleven years old, was found walking barefoot between Jönköping and Värnamo in central Sweden on Friday afternoon, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“Train drivers sounded the alarm on the line between Jönköping and Värnamo after seeing a boy walking in front of the train,” said Göran Gunnarsson of the Ekeryd police to SR.

Train travellers who wanted to get off the train to help the boy were prevented from doing so by train staff members, who explained that it was against regulations to open the train doors mid-route.

In addition, train staff were unable to get the 11-year-old’s attention.

One of the passengers was told that the train doors could not be opened while the train was in motion.

The boy allegedly threw stones at the moving train and occasionally became so tired that he sat on the tracks and rested while the train waited.

It was more than 50 minutes after the alarm was raised that the boy was safely taken off the tracks.

Police claim the rescue took so long due to the inaccessibility of the particular stretch of tracks where the boy was found, telling SR that no roads lead to anywhere near that stretch.

The boy had left an outing with his family and somehow found his way up onto the rails, according to SR.

Passengers complained that it was “terrible” that they weren’t allowed to help, yet the county transport authority Länstrafiken has stood by decision, claiming personnel on the train acted appropriately.

“It’s forbidden to let out travelers on the tracks due to the risk of accidents. Especially when the matter concerns a person who is disabled. Luckily, nothing happened,” said Carl-Johan Sjöberg of the regional train operator Länstrafiken to SR.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:16 May 28, 2012 by Mr G
Surely a helicopter could have been sent, I mean the boy's life was in danger?
19:37 May 28, 2012 by Rishonim
People are so bent in following rules and regulations that they forget humans instinct. What if a train was coming on the opposite tracks and they boy had crossed into the incoming train? I guess they(the conductor) would just sit and watch while the incoming train smash into him?
20:24 May 28, 2012 by johan rebel
Sweden is full of obedient, inflexible and bureaucratic idiots. Whatever happened to common sense and the courage to do the right thing?

Stop the train, get out, help the kid. How difficult can it be?

Sjöberg takes the prize for the most inane excuse of the month. If I understand the moron correctly, he is trying to tell us that it is not allowed to let people off the train, but this is even more not allowed "when the matter concerns a person who is disabled". Huh? What? Come again?
21:19 May 28, 2012 by darky
These laws are bul sh''t It makes people act like robots.
21:35 May 28, 2012 by RobinHood
The instict to help a child in danger is the most powerful, and noble of all human traits.

A society that has somehow overidden this most basic instinct should ask itself how it came to sink so low, and what it can do to restore the proper human values necessary for it to function in a civilised way.

Until Sweden, Länstrafiken and the individuals who left the boy in peril can admit there is a serious problem with themselves, and Swedish society, and take steps do something about it, Sweden will be a less and less pleasant place to live.
22:15 May 28, 2012 by byke
From my understanding, train drivers are allowed to disembark from the train onto the line. Why didn't the train driver get out and go to the aid of this child?

Heartless, sick society.
22:24 May 28, 2012 by Beavis
Had I been on that train I would have pulled the emegency cord and then disembarked the train to help the boy (as the writing on the emergency door says) I would have told the staff to kiss my a** and if they touched me I would sue for assault. Typical spineless Swedes following rules..
22:30 May 28, 2012 by chazza
Rules are God in Sweden.
02:26 May 29, 2012 by Scott McCoy
Are swedes really this stupid or is this story made up.?
03:20 May 29, 2012 by HenryPollard
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:56 May 29, 2012 by libertarianism
Absolut soullessness.
08:20 May 29, 2012 by johan rebel
"Are swedes really this stupid or is this story made up.?"

Its for real. If you think this is bad, then how about this:

Some years ago, a disgruntled guy rang on his ex-girlfriends doorbell in an apartment building in a local town. When she opened the door, he stabbed her, and then himself. A neighbor heard the commotion, opened the door, and saw both lying on the landing in pools of blood. He called the police, who decided to call in a SWAT team, because the suspect was "armed and dangerous". The fire department was also summoned to evactuate the other residents with ladders. By the time the SWAT team arrived, the suspect and his victim had both bled to death.
08:26 May 29, 2012 by Kevin Harris
Last weekend in England, a 32 year old man (so far unnamed) dived into the sea to save a five year old child he did not know. Red warning flags were flying and he knew it was a dangerous thing to do. He saved the child, but died himself.

When this man is identified, someone should pay for the train crew and Carl-Johan Sjöberg of Länstrafiken to meet his family and learn from them as much as they can about what it takes to be a decent human being. Because right now, they are clearly not very decent people at all, and I would feel neither comfortable nor safe in their care.
09:29 May 29, 2012 by EP
Sweden is so bent on following processes and procedures that it's turning Swedes into robots. Luckily the train was not full of robot converts yet ...
14:20 May 29, 2012 by SKJ
I don't understand the Swedish society. Selfish to the core and they are just machines.
11:54 May 31, 2012 by lars Torders
In the UK, we get used as an excuse for lateness that there were the wrong type of leaves on the line ! Not knowing the Swedish rail system, but I guess the tracks are not electrified. Many years ago I dropped my Walkman near the rails on getting out of a train The station staff wanted me to hang about for 3 hours before they would allow me to jump down to collect it. Eventually I found a hook on a pole and got it back that way, but there are loads of regulatons regards railways, and unfortunately the majority of rail workers are not encouraged to think outside the box.

Similarly we had an incident recently where the firemen wouldnt walk onto a pond to rescue something without completing a risk assessment. Whilst they were doing this, a passer by waded in. The water was about 60 cm deep.
02:26 June 2, 2012 by Dagem Hailemariam
Come on people...you are being a bit too melodramatic here. One, if they were robots like you say they are, they would have just rolled the train over the boy. Two, for the one that mentioned the whole train coming on the other track scenario, I am sure they radioed ahead so that all trains on that track would not be coming. You all are being a bit extreme here. I think you all need a reality check.

From how I read the article, I do not think the boy's life was in danger once they noticed him and the proper authorities were called. To exaggerate the situation is not gonna help anything!!

PS: My own personal note...As fun as the UK is, I would not want to live there.
21:06 June 29, 2012 by a110263f
Sweden is the worst country in the world as well as its people. I'll never go there. Undoubtedly the whole train passengers were to be jailed along with the crew. Here in Russia we can walk on the train tracks freely and barefoot if we want and we really do so. And that kid was not autistic but merely had a fun. Thanks God I live in Russia!
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