Jarvis guilty plea over death of girl, 8

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The Independent Online

The rail contractor Jarvis yesterday admitted breaking safety rules after a girl was electrocuted on a high-voltage track.

The rail contractor Jarvis yesterday admitted breaking safety rules after a girl was electrocuted on a high-voltage track.

Heather Foster, eight, died in August 2000 when she climbed through a gap in fencing with other children on the Southport to Liverpool line and fell on a live rail at St Michael's station in Aigburth. Liverpool Crown Court was told Jarvis and Network Rail had failed to ensure the fencing surrounding the line was maintained.

A spokesman for Jarvis said: "As legal proceedings are continuing, we cannot provide a full and detailed explanation of what happened at this stage. We will do so at a later hearing."

Jarvis admitted contravening the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. Network Rail, known as Railtrack in 2000, had admitted similar charges at a previous hearing.

* Two rail firms have been fined after a derailment was triggered by poor maintenance. Up to 70 commuters were on the Thameslink service in October 2001 when several wheels slipped off a line so "insecure" the rails were nearly 2in further apart than they should have been. Network Rail, which owns and operates the track, was fined £30,000 and Amec Rail, maintenance contractor, was fined £40,000.

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