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A female passenger narrowly escapes disaster as she falls between a train and the platform. The train leaves the platform unaware.
METRO says a woman who fell between a train and platform during an alleged attempt at fare evasion is lucky to be alive. But the woman, Leah Morgan, said her accident only occurred because she had no myki and the train station platform was dangerous.
A Metro spokeswoman said it appeared Ms Morgan had tried to touch off her myki and rush back to the train so she could avoid paying for travel from zone two to zone one.
The spokeswoman said the dash was part of an increasing trend of fare evasion that Metro was trying to counter by putting more authorised officers on stations that border zone one. Metro was unable to provide further evidence of the fare-evading.
The accident occurred on a Sunday, so Ms Morgan would not have been charged any more for travelling between zones regardless of whether she touched off in zone two. What is not in doubt - as shown in footage provided by the Department of Transport - is that Ms Morgan fell from the Brighton Beach platform while rushing for a city-bound train and landed only centimetres from the soon-to-be moving wheels on Easter Sunday.
The footage shows a frantic Metro employee waving to get the driver's attention after the fall, only for the train to pull away from the platform. Ms Morgan denied she had evaded her fare. She said the accident was caused as she tried to validate a 10-pass zone one Metcard, having bought a zone two daily Metcard to cover her trip from Sandringham to Brighton Beach, and then return to the train.
She did not want to travel in zone one without a valid ticket, she said, and had not bought a myki. The Kingsville woman said a Metro employee on the platform was amazed she had survived the fall.
''She saw me run for the train and then disappear, and when it pulled away I stood up on the tracks,'' Ms Morgan said. ''She was horrified, she thought I was a goner.
She was in more shock than I was.'' Ms Morgan, who was returning from visiting her parents in Sandringham, received bruising to her arms and legs and a sprained ankle in the accident, but said the shock of almost losing her life will linger long after her injuries heal.
''It's really shaken me up,'' she said. The Age visited the platform last week, and while the gap is about 50 centimetres wide in places, there are a number of signs and warnings on the platform.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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