Girls killed at train crossing 'confused by warning lights'

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Two teenage girls were killed as they dashed over a level crossing to catch a train yesterday.

The pair, both aged 14, had just bought tickets for a trip to Cambridge and could see other passengers boarding their train on a platform at Elsenham in Essex. The girls stepped on to the foot-crossing into the path of a train speeding towards the station at 70mph, despite a red warning light.

One theory is that the girls may have mistakenly assumed the warning signal applied to the train they wanted to catch. British Transport Police said they were treating the deaths as a "tragic accident".

One of the girls was named last night as Olivia Bazlinton, who had celebrated her birthday less than a week earlier. Her devastated father, Chris, said: "Olivia was a very lively girl who had a great sense of fun and lived life to the full."

The crossing uses red and green lights to inform pedestrians when it is safe to open the gates. Cliff Bishop, who runs a nearby shop, said: "In the week, when the commuters are there, there is quite a crowd of people waiting to open them and I should think there must be quite a few near misses."