EXCLUSIVE: Female tube passenger falls onto live underground tracks from packed platform as London revellers battle tube drivers’ strikes in bid to get home
An investigation has been launched after a young woman fell from an overcrowded platform onto live underground tracks as revellers continue to battle with tube drivers’ strikes.
Transport for London has promised a full inquiry ‘with all the relevant authorities’ after a female passenger fell onto live tracks at Tottenham Court Road underground station early on Saturday morning.
Passengers using the Central line had already faced crippling delays throughout the evening – owing to the tube drivers’ planned walk out on Friday evening – when events took a grim turn.
Eyewitnesses told MailOnline that the platforms at the tube station were a scene of chaos early on Saturday morning, with no staff available to manage overcrowding.
People screamed in horror as a woman was knocked onto the live tracks. Four members of the public attempted to rescue her, but she was effectively ‘stuck to the rails’, they explained.
Because there were no staff on hand at the time, one of the eyewitnesses was forced to push the emergency stop button on the platform to prevent further tragedy.
The victim was then rushed to one of the capital’s major trauma centres. MailOnline has contacted the London Ambulance Service for an update on her condition.
The emergency services rushed to the scene at Tottenham Court Road underground station on Saturday morning
Passengers using the Central line had already faced crippling delays throughout the evening – owing to the tube drivers’ planned walk out on Friday evening – when events took a grim turn
The news comes as passengers on the Night Tube were warned of severe disruption over this weekend after drivers went on a second round of strikes in a row over rotas.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union had planned an eight-hour walk out from Friday and Saturday evenings on the Central and Victoria lines.
The union claims Transport for London has ‘ripped up’ an agreement on drivers being allowed to choose whether to work on night services. Further strikes are planned in the run-up to Christmas.
But this industrial action caused severe delays on the Central Line at the time of the incident as revellers struggled to get home.
At around 1.15am on Saturday TfL tweeted that Tottenham Court Road had been closed due to a ‘customer incident’.
The tweet read: ‘Tottenham Court Road: The Central and Northern line station is currently closed. This is due to a customer incident.’
At around 1.15am on Saturday TfL tweeted that Tottenham Court Road had been closed due to a ‘customer incident’
Transport for London has promised a full inquiry ‘with all the relevant authorities’ after a female passenger fell onto live tracks at Tottenham Court Road underground station (pictured) early on Saturday morning
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (pictured above) had planned an eight-hour walk out from Friday and Saturday evenings on the Central and Victoria lines
TfL says passengers were regularly advised to move along platforms and staff were on hand for customer safety concerns.
The Central line was suspended eastbound for 45 minutes as the emergency services rushed to the scene and removed the victim from the tracks.
She was subsequently taken to hospital. MailOnline has contacted the London Ambulance Service for further comment.
Nick Dent, Director of Customer Operations for London Underground, said: ‘We are urgently investigating the incident that took place at Tottenham Court Road Tube station at around 0045 this morning (Saturday 4 December) where a customer fell onto tracks.
‘We would like to reassure customers that the safety of everyone on our network is always our top priority and our station staff immediately attended the incident.
‘The customer was subsequently taken to hospital by London Ambulance Services.
‘A full investigation with all the relevant authorities into the circumstances of this incident will be carried out.’
A London Ambulance spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We were called at 00:50am on Saturday 4 December to Tottenham Court Road station to reports of a person injured.
‘We sent an incident response officer, an advanced paramedic and two ambulance crews to the scene.
‘We treated a woman at the scene and took her to a major trauma centre.’
Platforms and stations have faced overcrowding in recent weeks as both commuters and revellers continue to battle with tube drivers’ strikes. Pictured: A busy London Bridge station on December 1
It comes amid news that New Year’s Eve revellers will not get their festive free trip home on the Tube this year.
TfL said it would have to charge for late night trips between December 31 and January 1 because of the ‘catastrophic impact of the pandemic’.
The Tube is still set to run through the night, but passengers will have to pay.
TfL has now said: ‘Following the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on TfL’s finances, TfL unfortunately will not be able to offer free travel on New Year’s Eve.
‘Services on the transport network will run through the night, ensuring that people can enjoy everything London has to offer and get home safely.’