'I'm glad she's alive' - man who saw toddler fall from train

2016-02-23 07:35


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Cape Town – A door of a Cape Town train opened unexpectedly while travelling at full speed, sucking a 2-year-old girl and her older sister out, an eyewitness said on Monday.

“I heard screaming and could see the older sister hanging onto a pole on the side of the train and her feet were dangling outside,” commuter Brandon Paulse told News24.

“They managed to pull her back in, but by that time the younger sister had already fallen out.”

The 2-year-old was admitted to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital with a head injury, said spokesperson Angelique Jordaan.

On Monday afternoon, she was in a stable condition and conscious.


Paulse said he had been on his way to work from Retreat to Cape Town when the girls, their brother and parents entered the middle carriage around 06:30.

There were no seats available and the family stood against a door facing another door which usually opened onto the platform.

“It’s not supposed to open at all. The train moved out of Heathfield station and that was when it opened. I stuck my head out of the window to see if I could see anything, but the train was driving so fast you couldn’t see what was happening.”

Paulse said the father screamed and the mother fainted momentarily. Commuters were also in a state.

“The older sister was about 10 or 11 and she was so hysterical the people had to calm her down. It’s like she wanted to run somewhere.”

When the train stopped about three minutes later at Diep River station, the father jumped out and ran in the direction they had come from, he said.


Paulse claimed the door in question was faulty.

“After the incident, people closed the door and within a few minutes, it was open again by itself.”

Western Cape police spokesperson, Constable Noloyiso Rwexana, said no criminal case had been opened.

Provincial Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said an injured toddler was found on the tracks. She was taken to hospital, accompanied by her father.

Paulse said he was relieved to hear the girl was alive.

“I have a 4-year-old girl and can just imagine it can happen to anyone’s child.”

The Retreat rapid rail police unit would investigate the matter, said Scott. Metrorail would wait for the results of the investigation before commenting.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  accidents

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