Two people have been charged after video appeared on social media Thursday of multiple people standing on the train tracks at the Kitchener GO Station taking group shots of students.
Carly Mohr told Global News she takes the GO train once a month and on Thursday morning saw something she had never seen before.
Shortly after 7 a.m., Mohr posted two videos on social media of two incidents involving passengers standing on the tracks taking pictures.
WATCH: A video surfaced on social media showing passengers taking selfies on the tracks at Kitchener GO Station. Shallima Maharaj has more.
One video appears to show a man standing on the tracks taking a photo with a train in close proximity.
“In the second one, I think everyone there was on a field trip for school to go see a Jays game. He wanted to have a group photo of the students…he just kept going further and further back,” Mohr said.
A photo was posted on social media shortly after on the St. Johns Catholic Elementary School Twitter feed which appeared to be taken from the tracks with the caption, “off on our great adventure to Toronto …” The photo was subsequently deleted hours later.
On Friday, Metrolinx confirmed to Global News that two people were identified from the videos – one is now charged with unlawfully cross rail tracks and the other has charges pending against them. Metrolinx said the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be laid.
Metrolinx media spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins tweeted earlier Thursday about the incident saying, “Think about the risks you took for selfies.”
“You cannot beat a train. Imagine the hell your family would go through after receiving the news,” Aikins said.
Another spokesperson for Metrolinx, Matt Llewellyn told Global News they were alerted by a customer just after 7 a.m. of a video that appeared to show multiple people on the tracks.
He said it’s incredibly important that incidents like this one be reported to transit safety officers.
“Getting this type of information quickly is critical, especially when you’re talking about live rail tracks,” said Llewellyn. “We encourage customers, if you see something, say something.”
Llewellyn also said some of the trains can reach a top speed of 144 km/h.
John Shewchuk, a spokesperson for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, confirmed to Global News Friday the principal from St. Johns was the person charged and that he has since apologized for the incident.
“This is clearly a teachable moment for adults and students alike and the school board will be reaching out to Metrolinx for advice on how to effectively reinforce rail safety with students and our broader school communities,” he said.
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