Woman dies after leaning out of train window below warning sign

A woman has suffered a fatal head injury while leaning out a train window below an inadequate warning sign, an accident investigation has found.

Bethan Roper, 28, died on the Great Western Railway (GWR) train near Twerton, Bath on December 1 last year after suffering a head injury.

She was leaning out of the window of a door when her head was struck by a tree branch while the train travelled at around 75mph.

The door was fitted with an opening window to enable passengers to use the handle on the outside when they needed to leave the train.

According to a report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that a warning sign above the droplight window met industry guidance but “did not adequately convey the level of risk” as the sign featured the word “caution” with the message: “Do not lean out of window when train is moving.”

Investigators claimed the use of the word “caution” suggested that leaning out the window could be done safely if care was taken and also highlighted that it is much smaller than other signs around it and its background colour was yellow, when red would have been more appropriate for conveying danger.

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