United Kingdom

Kent clubber, 23, was electrocuted on train tracks taking short cut across railway station

A clubber was electrocuted on train tracks when he took a short cut across a railway station after a night out, an inquest has heard. 

William Israel, 23, was trying to cut through Canterbury East station in Kent to get to a friend's house after leaving a nearby nightclub in the city.

But instead of using an underpass linking the platforms, he jumped onto the tracks, tripped on the stone ballast and fell onto the live 750-volt third rail.

He was electrocuted and pronounced dead at the scene. 

An assistant coroner criticised a lack of signs directing people to the underpass and questioned why a gate into the station was left open overnight when the station is unmanned.

William Israel (pictured), 23, was trying to cut through Canterbury East station in Kent to get to a friend's house after leaving a nearby nightclub in the city

Sonia Hayes raised the issues at an inquest into the death of Mr Israel, who lost his life in the early hours of March 15.

She described the fatal accident as 'a tragedy beyond compare', adding: 'He was a much-loved healthy young man with his life ahead of him.'

Mr Israel, who lived in Hither Green in south London, had earlier that day had a video call with his nephews and asked if dinner could be kept for him for his intended return to the capital the next day.

He travelled to Canterbury and met with friends before going to Club Chemistry, off the city's ring-road.

When he left shortly before 4am the alcohol in his system was at the level of about twice the drink-drive limit.

Instead of using an underpass linking the platforms, Mr Israel jumped onto the tracks (pictured), tripped on the stone ballast and fell onto the live 750-volt third rail

He travelled to Canterbury and met with friends before going to Club Chemistry (pictured), off the city's ring-road

After finding his friends and being given a key to a nearby flat, he walked across the road and entered Canterbury East via the unlocked entry gate, which is open between 10pm and 6am when the station ticket office is not manned.

CCTV footage showed him jumping down onto the tracks before he stumbled on the stones and fell onto the active third rail - a line which remains switched on even if trains are not running.

He was found by friends, who alerted emergency services.

Having heard evidence from British Transport Police (BTP) and Southeastern rail company, Ms Hayes said she was 'not satisfied' sufficient risk assessments had been carried out at the station since Mr Israel's death.

As a result she used her powers to issue a Regulation 28 order to make sure these assessments are carried out in a bid to prevent future deaths.

CCTV footage showed him jumping down onto the tracks before he stumbled on the stones and fell onto the active third rail - a line which remains switched on even if trains are not running. Pictured, Canterbury East railway station

Fit and healthy Mr Israel was aiming to start his own personal training business before his life was tragically cut short in March, the court heard

On Friday Ms Hayes raised concerns over a lack of signage directing people to the underpass and the fact access to the platforms is allowed throughout the night via a pedestrian gate.

She told the court: 'There was no signage to point him in the direction of the underpass. This is a simple matter that could have been remedied and has not been...it's a significant absence.

'I am troubled by the nightclub being so near to the station - there is a significant risk of people perhaps making judgements that they may not do when sober.

'I am troubled that opening the gate when the station is not manned leads to a greater risk of people trespassing and going onto the track.'

Fit and healthy Mr Israel was aiming to start his own personal training business before his life was tragically cut short in March, the court heard.

A statement from the family read out at court remembered him as a 'loving, hard-working son, caring brother who was very dear to all other family members'.

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