Mind your kids - and the gap
CCTV raw vision shows just how quickly a child can fall through the gap on the train platform.
Mind your kids ... and the gap.
Video footage of children falling through gaps between trains and platforms at stations in Sydney has prompted Transport Minister Andrew Constance to warn parents and carers to be vigilant when travelling on the city's transport system.
The number of safety incidents involving children on trains and at stations has increased from 221 to 238 over the past year. Child injuries rose from 66 to 72.
Footage from cameras at Epping Station in Sydney's north-west showed a young girl running ahead of her mother, who was pushing a pram, and falling between a gap. Her mother quickly lifted her daughter from the tracks uninjured.
However, as her mother attempted to board the train a minute later, the front of her pram fell twice between the train and the platform. She eventually managed to board the train with the help of passengers and station staff.
The other footage from Sydney Trains is of children falling in gaps between platforms and trains at stations at Lidcombe and Wolli Creek. Neither of the children were seriously injured.
Mr Constance said train platforms were dangerous places and a moment of inattention could lead to a potentially fatal incident.
"Please be wary of your child's safety in and around trains and stations because accidents can occur," he said.
"We've seen some truly distressing moments involving children and nobody wants to go through the experience of a child slipping between the train and a platform."
Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins said the video footage showed that sometimes people were more concerned about their baggage than their young children.
"In a split second, you turn your back, the child is gone. You can see the desperation of panic in the parent's eyes as they've lost their little one between the gap," he said.
"If you see someone struggling out there with bags and kids, we all should be as travellers, trying to help people get on and off the train safely."
Sydney Trains had more than 1 million passenger journeys a day but "one child's life or injury is one too many".
However, there was no data to suggest some stations were more dangerous for young children than others. Mr Collins said some stations where incidents occurred had the smallest gaps between platforms and trains on the transport network.
Sydney Trains had worked to improve lighting, marked platforms and make announcements at peak travel periods warning of the dangers.
"My view is there is a responsibility that all of us have to make and one of them is having to look after our children as we travel around the network," Mr Collins said.