UPDATE: Young children left stranded on railway platform after train doors close suddenly
Young children were stranded at a remote Hampshire railway station when train doors closed unexpectedly.
A five-year-old girl and her two brothers, aged seven and 10, were left on the platform at Hinton Admiral in the New Forest as their horrified parents headed towards Christchurch on board a train.
Claire and Paul Leighton could see their children crying but were unable to stop the 9.31am service.
Paul got off the train as soon as it stopped at Christchurch and returned by taxi to the small station, where his distraught children were being looked after by a member of staff.
Paul and the children had taken Claire to the station to help her because she is on crutches after breaking both her legs this summer.
She said: “Paul was helping me to get to a seat when the doors suddenly closed without warning. He had only been on the train for a matter of seconds.
“Hinton Admiral station is very quiet as well so if anyone had looked they would have seen that the children were standing by the train on their own.”
Claire’s sister, Helen Knox, was waiting for her at Bournemouth station when she received a text.
She said: “I told the staff at Bournemouth station and they were very good and got in touch with Hinton Admiral straightaway.
“Claire just said the doors had closed much too quickly and that no one could have looked or they would have seen the children.”
Paul had no money on him at the time of the incident and said he would like to thank a man at Christchurch station who paid his taxi fare.
“He could see we were in a panic and said he had children so he understood” said Paul. “We are really grateful.”
After the incident Paul took the children back to their home in Bransgore.
Claire eventually met her two sisters and they continued with their family tradition of wrapping their Christmas presents together.
A spokesman for South West Trains said the company is looking into the incident and added: “Passenger safety is always our primary concern, particularly in cases such as this where children are travelling on our services.
“We were concerned to hear about the circumstances involved in this case.
“One of our senior managers has made contact with the parents directly to reassure them that we are carrying out a full internal investigation into this incident which will include accessing the CCTV.”