A local commuter had a close call this week after their backpack became hooked onto a Via Rail train and was torn off in an incident that has caused Metrolinx to launch a new safety campaign. The horrifying ordeal took place on Wednesday morning at around 9:00 AM. The commuter had been walking near the edge of the tracks on the yellow line when their bag became snagged on a train leaving the station.
Fortunately, the commuter walked away from the incident without a scratch. However, the train was forced to stop due to the emergency, resulting in hour-long delays on the Lakeshore West line. The event forced the transit system to play catch-up and undoubtedly frustrated the other commuters whose day was affected by the loss time.
Go Transit took to Twitter on Friday morning to release a safety vlog about the incident. In the video, two special constables walk viewers through the importance of avoiding the yellow line when you have a backpack that has “loose dangling items."
Wednesday's delay on LSW was a result of a backpack-wearing passenger walking on the yellow line. The train ripped the bag off their back. This could have ended in tragedy.— GO Transit (@GOtransit) February 28, 2019
Please watch this video & always stay behind the yellow line.https://t.co/EBpoa8DSIK
The safety instructors also warned commuters about strapping themselves into their backpacks which could turn into a fatal mistake if their bag was to become hooked onto a speeding train. The instructors advise passengers to either hand carry their packs or use a single strap to avoid being dragged by the train.
“We are not advising commuters to stop using backpacks altogether but if you do use one hand carrying your backpack is what we recommend especially if you are on a busy and crowded platform,” the special constable state in the video.
Incidents like these are rare but should be taken into consideration when commuting. Anyone who uses the trains daily should try to keep these tips in mind to avoid getting hurt or causing delays for your fellow commuters.