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DB Cargo fined £1.2m for electrocuted trespasser

DB CARGO has been fined £1.2 million with £27,873.03 costs after a trespassing 13-year old boy suffered serious injuries from electrocution at Bescot freight terminal on 1 June 2017.

He and two other boys of the same age had climbed on to the roof of a wagon, and the boy received 40 per cent burns from the overhead 25kV line. A second boy had burns on one hand and broke his arm.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court was told that the three had entered the site by using a hole in a fence which divided the yard from playing fields. Evidence was also given that DB Cargo had been aware of no fewer than 35 incidents of trespass recorded during the five years since July 2012, and youths had been seen ‘clambering’ on a locomotive just a few days before the electrocution.

DB Cargo (UK) Ltd had pleaded guilty on 31 October last year to one charge brought by the Office of Rail and Road under health and safety legislation, and was sentenced by District Judge Wheeler on 9 January.

Chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser expressed sympathy for the injured boys and their families, adding: ‘We welcome the sentence which shows the seriousness with which the court has taken this case, and we expect the rail industry to make sure their sites are secure and minimise the chances of a repeat of this incident.

‘We hope this acts as a reminder to adults and children to stay off railway sites, which can be very dangerous places.’

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