Portsmouth rail tragedy: Police prepare file for coroner

Leaders are ‘feeling positive’

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POLICE are preparing a file for the coroner after a woman died when she was hit by a train at Hilsea station in Portsmouth.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, was hit by a southbound train just before midday yesterday.

The scene at Hilsea station after woman was hit and killed by a  train''''Picture: Jason Kay

The scene at Hilsea station after woman was hit and killed by a train''''Picture: Jason Kay

The incident caused chaos among rail users, leaving passengers stranded in Portsmouth, Havant and Cosham as trains were unable to use the line until after 2pm.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: ‘Our officers were called following reports of person struck by a train.

‘The call came into police shortly after 11.50am.

‘BTP officers attended alongside colleagues from Hampshire Police and paramedics from the ambulance service.

‘A woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘Officers are currently working to identify the woman and inform her family.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.’

Police vehicles and ambulances lined Airport Service Road outside the station as an investigation was carried out.

Police tape was put across the entrance to the station and officers allowed only emergency service workers onto the platform.

Passenger Jaron Murphy, who was at the platform and saw what happened, said: ‘I don’t think anyone around me realised what happened at first.

‘The train came to a standstill further down the track.

‘The police were very good. They got here quickly and shepherded everyone across the bridge.’

Charlotte Hills, 23, from North End, was in the front carriage of the train when the incident happened.

She said: ‘The train wasn’t due to stop at Hilsea so we were going through quite fast.

‘Then all of a sudden they slammed on the brakes and the train stopped.

‘The next thing was, the driver announced that a collision had happened. We couldn’t see anything,

‘The next stop was meant to be Fratton at 12.

‘It sounds terrible – I was just going to see my partner.’

Geoffrey Brooking, from Hayling Island, was at Havant station from about 12.30pm trying to get to London.

He later told The News he had been waiting for more than an hour-and-a-half, and said hundreds of other passengers were also left stranded.

Mr Brooking said: ‘It’s absolute bedlam.

‘Train services are starting and terminating at Havant and the station is awash with passengers who are stranded.’