Train kills two girls playing 'dare'

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The Independent Online

Two girls struck down and killed by a train crowded with summer tourists yesterday afternoon may have been playing a tragic game of dare, the train operator said.

Two girls struck down and killed by a train crowded with summer tourists yesterday afternoon may have been playing a tragic game of dare, the train operator said.

The bodies of the children, aged seven and eight, were recovered from the side of the Cambrian coast railway close to the village of Borth, about five miles north of Aberystwyth.

The driver of the two-coach class 158 diesel Sprinter train was in shock last night. He said he had seen five youngsters playing on the rails and sounded his horn moments before the accident happened, a Railtrack spokeswoman said.

The girls were hit at about 3.20pm as the Central Trains Sprinter, with up to 200 tourists on board, began the final leg of its journey from Lincoln to Aberystwyth. The driver stopped immediately and raised the alarm.

Both children were pronounced dead at the scene.

Jed Burgess, a spokesman for the train operator, said investigators were looking at the possibility that the girls were playing "dare". "There are lots of possibilities and all sorts of rumours going around and that is something that is being looked at," he said. "It is rumoured they may have lain on the rails as part of a game."

It is thought the dead children and their friends, were from the Aberystwyth area.

"It is a very tragic incident," the Railtrack spokeswoman said. "It illustrates the terrible danger of venturing on to the track. It is not yet known how they got on to the track itself. The nearest road crossing with automatic barriers is about two miles away, at Ynyslas."

The passengers were later taken to Borth, the nearest station, and completed their journey by coach, she said. The line into Aberystwyth was closed for almost four hours.

Dyfed Powys police said a full investigation was under way. said a police spokesman.

"The train will remain at the station until it has undergone a mechanical examination," he said.

The parents of the children have requested that their identities be withheld.

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