WATCH ABOVE: The incident is just one of many released by Australian authorities to remind citizens about the dangers of the railway. Daniel Sutton reports.
TORONTO – Recent footage of a young girl being pulled from a railway track less than a second before a train would have slammed into her is what Australian authorities are using to get their point across — stay off the tracks.
Officials have released surveillance footage of multiple incidents in and around the Sydney area showcasing all kinds of near-death experiences between human and train. The move is part of Rail Safety Week.
In their most notable video, two young girls chase a rolling hula hoop. One ends up on the tracks and narrowly avoids certain disaster when a Good Samaritan dressed in dark clothing grabs her by the hand and pulls her to safety — literally a second before a train came roaring into Flemington Station.
In some cases, the person involved wasn’t as lucky as the young girl.
“One of the rocks actually rebounded back, hit me on the side of the head, fractured my skull and knocked me out,” Jonathan Beninca told 9NEWS.
Beninca was throwing rocks when he sustained the head injury, and then was run over by a second train as he lay on the tracks. He lost an arm, a leg and two fingers in the incident.
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The message out of Australia is a timely reminder for Canadians, as well. An 18-year-old male was struck and killed in Cochrane, Alberta early Sunday morning.
“Rail fatalities totalled 57 in 2014, down from 126 recorded last year (including 47 fatalities at Lac-Mégantic) and down from the five-year average of 86,” the Transportation Safety Board of Canada‘s website states.
Of those 57 deaths, 21 occurred at rail crossings. There were also a total of 49 serious injuries reported.
“Although crossing accidents involving pedestrians accounted for 8 per cent (14) of all crossing accidents in 2014, they accounted for 45 per cent (9) of fatal crossing accidents.”
Twenty-four per cent of the crossing accidents in Canada occurred in Ontario — the most in the country — while Alberta was on the hook for 22 per cent.
TSB data extracted July 16 indicated a total of 35 accidents had already occurred in Canada in 2015. Two of those involved a fatality, a number that has since grown.