Man falls to tracks near Britomart, eyewitness describes ‘massive explosion’

An eyewitness has described the terrifying moment a man received an electric shock and then fell on to the train tracks near the Britomart train station tunnel in Auckland.

The incident happened about 9.45pm Friday, and the man was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

Susan Frost was walking her chihuahua when she says she saw the man climbing down from a bridge across the tracks and walking sideways along the edge.

“I thought he was going to . . . jump on to the roof of a train, but a train went past and he didn’t,” she told the Herald.

“I saw him swinging around by the cable … the next thing there was a massive explosion.”

She said it sounded like fireworks had gone off. “That’s how bad it was.”

He then fell on to the tracks, she said.

Eyewitnesses ran to alert staff at the station to stop the trains, she said. They also called 111.

Frost said she thought there was “no way” the man would have survived the shock and fall, as his legs and body lay “twisted” on the tracks.

She could see burns across his back and neck, and she said his T-shirt was ripped.

But then he started moving.

“I couldn’t believe it when he moved,” she said.

“He tried to get up but he kept collapsing … I don’t think he even knew where he was.”

She said it took some time for emergency services to reach him.

“At 10.30 they still hadn’t gone down to him … you could see he was badly burnt.”

On Friday, the police said after the incident trains were stopped and the power to overhead lines turned off so emergency services could tend to the man near the station tunnel around 9.45pm last night.

“Initial inquiries indicate he received an electric shock while trying to cross the tracks,” police said.

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