Baby girl born on packed commuter train just an hour after hospital told mum to go home


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The Independent Online

A baby girl was born on a London commuter train less than an hour after her mother was sent home from hospital, relatives claimed last night.

Baby Phoebe made her dramatic entrance on the 18:18 from London Victoria to Maidstone East service on Wednesday, weighing 6lb 13oz.

Tunbridge Wells Hospital had assessed Sonia Banks, 22, after her waters broke at home but advised her to return there, saying the baby wasn’t going to be born imminently, Phoebe’s paternal grandmother, Mari-anne Stanley, said. “Less than an hour later her baby was born on the dirty floor of a train. It certainly wasn’t what we were expecting to happen.”

A spokesman said: ‘Miss Banks was appropriately assessed, was not in labour and no contractions had started.”

The child’s father Allan Stanley, 21, spoke of his joy at witnessing his daughter’s birth, declaring: “It feels like I’m on cloud nine.”

An off-duty midwife helped with the on-board delivery after the train driver called for medical staff to come forward.

The conductor kept commuters informed and the news of Phoebe’s birth was greeted with cheers and claps.