‘Lack of staff’ led to Canning Town passenger trapped in train door for 45 minutes

16:28 22 September 2016

Emergency services were called to help free the woman at Canning Town Tube Station

Emergency services were called to help free the woman at Canning Town Tube Station


The rescue of a woman trapped in a train door at a Tube station was slowed down by lack of staff, a leaked report has revealed.

The Transport for London (TfL) paper, seen by the Recorder, states there was no-one at Canning Town station to co-ordinate an appropriate response because of “low numbers of staff being present to manage an emergency”.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has criticised TfL’s handling of the incident, which happened on May 26, saying it “got out of control” after the passenger trapped her foot between a train and a platform.

The woman got stuck in the gap while trying to board a train at 8.21am and remained trapped for a further 45 minutes until emergency services crews finally freed her at 9.07am.

The report admits TfL staff who did repond at the scene were “unclear” as to what their role should be.

In addition, “no instruction” was given to stop the DLR dispatching passengers at Canning Town because the unstaffed control room meant “there was no central base for communications to flow in and out of”.

The 21-page report adds: “Historically these issues would not have arisen as all communication and coordination would have been via the SCRO [Station Control Room Officer] in the control room.”

It also state a “disjointed” reponse took place to helping the woman who was “not afforded any level of dignity”.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Too many jobs have been cut and what we’re left with is a Tube system that cannot properly respond to emergency situations.

“The fact it’s come from an investigation conducted by London Underground themselves speaks volumes.

“I am calling on London Underground to bring forward a planned one-year review of their new staffing arrangements on Tube stations.”

The report also found that there had been 14 incidents at Canning Town station in the previous year.

There was one further incident between May 27 and August 20 when a customer was pushed against a train.

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The safety of our customers is always our top priority, and our staff were on site within seconds to help the customer.

“The emergency services were also called within minutes to resolve the situation as safely as possible.

“Thankfully, incidents of this nature are extremely rare at Canning Town and as our report makes clear, we are carrying out a full review.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories


Former football stars and Paralympic champions helped launch a ground-breaking disability sports initiative at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this morning.

Elizabeth Olympic Park

All lanes have re-opened on a bridge metres from London City Airport where police had been dealing with an ‘incident’.


Members of a gang who stole £158,000 of goods from parked lorries across the South East have been sentenced to more than 35 years in prison between them.

Canning Town

On September 16, nine people who took part in a protest at London City Airport earlier in the month were sentenced for their actions.

Liberal Democrats

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now