Dad-of-10 crushed to death between two trains after falling into gap

The family of a war hero who was crushed to death between two London Underground trains has demanded Transport for London ‘takes responsibility’.

Gama Mohamed Warsame, 59 and of Tower Hamlets, was killed after he ‘stumbled’ and fell in the gap between the platform and train at Waterloo station on the Bakerloo line northbound platform at 10.06am on May 26, 2020.

Despite trying to escape and waving his hands for 20 seconds, the dad-of-10 was crushed and dragged 16m by the first train, and then crushed again by a second train which applied emergency brakes after a passenger on the platform alerted the driver. 

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Warsame died of ‘catastrophic trauma’ to his brain, heart, and lungs.

During the first day of an inquest at the Inner South London Coroner’s Court, his daughter read a touching statement in which she hailed her dad’s ‘selfless’ nature and called him a ‘hero to his country’. But she slammed TfL for not being there when he needed them.

Samara Mohamed added: ‘We believe our father’s death happened for some other reason than just an accident and changes need to happen to help someone else.

‘After all, he was a remarkable person and sometimes, something remarkable needs to happen to change the world.

‘We as a family want TfL and London Underground to take responsibility to increase awareness of what happens on their platforms.’

An investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) already found the operations monitors – which let drivers see issues on the platform – were ‘unsuitable for identifying a person fallen in the gap’ after investigators did a simulation test with a mannequin.

RAIB lead investigator Richard Brown admitted: ‘What the driver could see at the time is not recorded, so we don’t actually know.’

The court was shown stills of the simulation run which showed how difficult it was to see a passenger on the platform or in the gap.

Mr Brown explained the cameras did not meet the 1997 or 2000 ‘requirement for size of a person appearing on a monitor’, although he did note the drivers were in good health, well rested, and had been tested for their eyesight.

Even when the court was shown how the curvature of the platform created the gap through which Mr Warsame fell, the senior coroner still seemed baffled, stating: ‘It does seem surprising that someone could actually fit in that gap?’

Mr Brown also said the platform was noisy: ‘You had to be quite close to people to have a normal conversation.

‘You needed to shout… If anyone was more than a carriage or two distance away they would struggle to hear you.’

CCTV footage does not record sound, so it is unknown if Mr Warsame called for help upon falling.

The court heard how Mr Warsame fought in the Somalian civil war, during which he was tortured and had shrapnel injuries to his legs. He fled the country and was granted asylum in the UK, where he had lived for 30 years at the time of his death.

But his years of fighting had left him with undiagnosed PTSD, which he used to self-medicate with alcohol, according to his family.

Mr Warsame’s blood alcohol levels were 300mg per litre which ‘is normally associated with a coma and possibly death’, leading pathologist Dr Simon Poole to comment how the ‘very high levels of alcohol in his blood and urine might have affected his coordination and balance and made him predisposed to falling’.

GP reports indicate Mr Warsome was diagnosed with alcohol dependency in 2009 and had been referred to dependence charity RESET.

The inquest continues this week.

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