- The Telegraph
A Rome tube driver is under investigation after camera footage from Termini metro station showed him eating while driving the train that took off with a woman stuck in one of the wagon doors.
A shocking video first published over the weekend by the daily Corriere della Sera shows the driver eating several forkfuls from a container before glancing in his rear view mirror and then accelerating out of Termini station on the Metro B line with a woman caught in the door of the last wagon.
The woman, 43-year-old Belarusian Natalya Garkovich, appeared to be carrying a sack or handbag in her right hand when she tried to get on the train but changed her mind and took a step backward as doors were closing.
The woman was caught in the door of the last wagon
The woman was caught in the door of the last wagon Credit: Corriere della Sera
Camera footage then shows the woman or something attached to her getting caught in the doors as they close and being dragged down the platform on her knees as the train accelerates. Panicked passengers at the stop watch the horrifying scene unfold, with several trying unsuccessfully to pull her to safety or signal the driver.
She survived by pulling herself close to the train as it neared the tunnel wall, while passengers inside also tried desperately to save her. One person reported pulling the emergency handle to no avail.
Passengers inside eventually managed to force open the doors, allowing her to fall. The train continued to its next stop before the driver realised what had occurred and stopped metro traffic so rescuers could arrive. She was hospitalised with serious injuries and later underwent surgery on her pelvis and face.
The woman survived by pulling herself close to the train as it neared the tunnel wall, while passengers inside also tried desperately to save her Credit: Corriere della Sera
Francesco Compagna, the lawyer for the driver, said he is “mortified” over what happened. He is currently suspended and under investigation for causing personal injury.
Atac, the entity that manages public transportation in Rome, said an investigative commission is reviewing the entire accident dynamic, including possible malfunction of the doors, which normally have a sensor to signal an obstruction.
The incident has intensified calls for a broader safety review of the Rome metro system.
“The train should not have taken off if the doors were not closed properly,” said Codacons consumer lobby president Carlo Rienzi. “We want to know how such a serious incident can happen despite all the security systems installed to prevent such situations.”