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Friday, August 19, 2016
Investigators probe Ramadan fast link in Paddington train derailment
RAMADAN may have contributed to a train derailment at Paddington Station, investigators fear.
NATIONAL RAIL The driver of a train that derailed at Paddington was fasting for Ramadan
The accident, which occurred on June 16, was caused when the driver passed a red signal before coming off the track and hitting a mast - resulting in the station’s closure and rail chaos across London.
Investigators are now probing whether the accident occurred because the driver was undergoing a Ramadan fast and had not eaten in the 15 hours before the crash.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report states the driver said: “he had awoken during the night before the accident at 2.30am, to eat a light meal, as part of his observance of Ramadan.
“He went back to bed at 3.30am, slept for a further seven hours before coming on duty at 1.07pm and had not had anything else to eat or drink before the accident occurred.
“From the evidence available, RAIB is unable to determine whether his interruption in his sleep and subsequent fasting, was a factor in what happened on this occasion.”
NATIONAL RAIL Nobody was injured in the low-speed derailment in June
The report adds fasting “can affect people’s concentration levels”.
Its official guidance on fasting states: “Fasting can have a range of effects on individuals including fatigue, dizziness, dehydration and headache, sleepiness and reduction in concentration which can result in safety concerns, especially when conducting safety critical jobs.”
No-one was injured in the low-speed derailment, which occurred when the driver misinterpreted signals on a length of track he had only ever driven on one journey following his training.
NATIONAL RAIL The driver had not eaten in 15 hours before the crash
The investigation report explains the driver “formed the impression in his mind” that a signal meant he could continue and “drove past it although it was showing two red lights, meaning ‘stop’”.
A spokesman for Great Western Railway (GWR) said: “We have cooperated fully with the RAIB in their investigation into this very unusual event and note the publication of the report today.
“Such incidents are extremely rare and the safety arrangements in place at the location prevented a more serious event.
GETTY Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islam calendar in which fasting takes place during daylight hours
“We continually brief our drivers, regularly monitor their competence, and will continue to work with our industry partners to improve the safety of the railway.”
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islam calendar, in which it is traditional to fast during daylight hours.