‘When you hear your child has fallen off a train you imagine the worst’

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May 30, 2017
‘When you hear your child has fallen off a train you imagine the worst’

IN SHOCK: Viola Khosi with her injured son, Lameck, 11.

A Strand mother is seeking compensation from Metrorail after her 11-year-old son fell out of a moving train when the train doors automatically opened.

Viola Khosi’s son, Lameck, was travelling to school on the 5.40am train from Strand to Cape Town on Friday. He had just boarded the train at Van der Stel station and after travelling about 500m from Somerset West, heading to Firgrove, the train doors swung open.

The Grade 5 Firgrove Primary School pupil was taken by emergency services to Helderberg Hospital and then transferred to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for treatment.

After spending a weekend in hospital Lameck was discharged and will have to return for a check-up on June 7.

“I don’t remember where I was standing in the train, but I remember waking up outside and screaming for help. I saw a woman and man pass by and I shouted for help. I was very scared,” said Lameck.

Jeanette Thomas, who was in the first-class carriage with the boy, said the train was full, with many people standing.

She said a strong wind was blowing that morning.

“He was standing inside the train, not close to the doors, the wind must have pushed him out. I saw the doors open, but didn’t see him. I asked a woman who had been standing next to him where he was and the woman said ‘he’s gone’. It all happened so fast,” Jeanette told the Cape Argus.

Police from Somerset West and a Metrorail team were dispatched to search for the boy. Lameck has been travelling alone by train for three years.

Viola said she was at home preparing for work when police came to her door.

“When you hear your child has fallen off a train you imagine the worst. I thought I won’t see my child again. I got a terrible fright,” she said.

Khosi said Lameck had sustained bruises, a broken arm and a fracture to his head.

“Metrorail has to pay for what has happened. My child has a head injury now and I don’t know whether this injury will hinder him in future. I still have to wait for the hospital bill and also I am going to be out of work, to look after my child.”

Metrorail regional spokesperson Riana Scott said the incident was under investigation.

IOL

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