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Investigation examines CBH train incident

Cally Dupe and Gabrielle KnowlesThe West Australian
Emergency workers attend to the man.
Camera IconEmergency workers attend to the man. Credit: Picture: WA Police

A 32-year-old man who lost a hand and a foot after falling from a moving CBH train in the Wheatbelt remained in intensive care at Royal Perth Hospital on Monday.

An allegedly intoxicated Thomas Copping was injured on Saturday evening when he fell from the slow-moving bulk freight train in Brookton after he and his brother decided to climb through the carriages instead of waiting for the train to pass.

Mr Copping’s brother was not hurt and ran alongside the tracks to raise the alarm with the train driver.

A man who said he knew the train driver posted on social media on Monday that he was “still in shock and very upset”.

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The man said it was the first time in the driver’s decade-long career that he had been involved in an incident where a person was injured.

Trevor Penny, a friend of Mr Copping’s, told Seven News on Monday that he had known the 32-year-old since they were children and described him as hard-working with a big heart.

“It’s just a tragic accident he had,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable that it happened in Brookton, here on a little railway track.”

The train was heading to Kwinana Port loaded with grain. Brookfield Rail, which operates the track, is investigating the incident in conjunction with WA Police and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The company’s safety, people and corporate affairs manager Megan McCracken released a statement on Monday.

“We can’t imagine what the injured man, his family and the Brookton community are currently experiencing. Our thoughts are with them all,” she said.

CBH Group said it was supporting its employees and those involved in the incident.

In April, CBH released shocking footage of a series of near-misses in which cars were almost hit by grain trains, as part of a safety campaign.

In releasing the video, CBH manager of operations David Capper urged drivers to be vigilant at rail crossings.

“These near-miss events are happening as often as every fortnight, which raises the question of just how long it will be before there is a collision,” he said.

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