The CN Police Service says it’s probing a “dangerous and extremely stupid” incident caught on video Monday afternoon, of a man crawling under a train stopped on a set of tracks in downtown London.
The footage, captured by a 980 CFPL listener, shows a man dressed in jeans and a yellow safety jacket trying to clamber over the joint between two fuel cars. He loses his balance, falls off the coupling, and then scrambles underneath the train instead.
He clears the tracks mere seconds before the locomotive starts rolling.
“I’m amazed that this individual wasn’t hurt,” said CN Police Insp. Scott McCallum.
The 30-year police official, who has spent that past 13 years with the railway police service, said he has seen all kinds of “unbelievable” conduct around trains. But he isn’t mincing his words when it comes to the incident caught on video around 4:40 p.m. Monday, south of York and William streets.
“That person could have lost their life, they could have been seriously injured, they could have lost a limb or multiple limbs,” said McCallum.
“There are two sets of tracks in that area. So you never know if that train was stopped because another train was coming that had right of way, or clearance.”
McCallum confirms the individual in the video isn’t a railway employee, and officers are trying to track him down. He says charges are possible, ranging from trespassing and railway safety act violations, all the way up to a criminal charge of mischief if there’s evidence the behaviour is reoccurring.
“They made an attempt to go over and they weren’t successful. Someone that has maybe never tried something before… would have taken a step back and said, ‘Well, that was a bonehead move,’ but this person , ‘Well, if I can’t go overtop, I’m going to go underneath.'”
“Something tells me… this wouldn’t be the first time the individual has done something like this.”
Although the person could face legal consequences, McCallum also emphasized having a conversation about safety and helping them understand how close they were to losing their life.
“Education is a huge part of what we do,” he said.
“Trains are very Canadiana, they’re very iconic. But they’re large, they’re powerful, they’re unforgiving. People just have to take a few minutes, the train is going to clear the crossing. That’s why all the safety mechanisms are in place — the gates, the signals, the road markings, the flashing lights. Stay well enough back, stay away from the train. There’s no other way to sum it up.”
Anyone with information about Monday’s incident can contact the CN Police tipline.
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