Woman thrown on railway line by youths

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The Independent Online

A commuter was injured today when she was pushed on to a railway line after telling two young men to stop smoking on a station platform, police said.

The 58-year-old woman suffered bruising and a fractured wrist and was taken to hospital after the incident, which happened at Farningham Road station in Kent during this morning's rush hour.

Detective Inspector Bob Richardson of British Transport Police said the woman was lucky she did not land on the track's live rail.

He said: "It would appear the woman had spoken to the men about smoking earlier this week.

"This morning when she was at the station, she was walking past the same men when one of them pushed her and she fell onto the track.

"She suffered a fractured wrist and bruising to her legs. She was taken to hospital for treatment but has since been released.

"The woman was very lucky she was not more seriously injured. The third rail carries 750 volts of electricity and she could have been electrocuted or even struck by an early morning train."

Southeastern train services between Kent and London were disrupted because the live rail had to be turned off.

The train company said the woman was rescued by fellow passengers after the attack.

A Southeastern spokesman said: "We are appalled by this incident and hope the perpetrators are quickly identified."

Smoking is banned on station platforms.

Police said they were looking into a number of leads and were viewing CCTV footage from the station.

One of the men was described as white, aged in his mid 20s, about 6ft tall, with a stocky build. He had short cropped brown hair, was wearing beige shorts, a green round-necked T-shirt and trainers.

The second man was white, in his early 20s, with a medium build, bright red shorts and a dark top.

Police appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting log 83 of 6/8.