Boy, 4, has toes torn off after getting foot stuck in London Bridge station escalator

28 September 2023, 11:29 | Updated: 28 September 2023, 14:00

London Bridge
London Bridge. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A four-year-old boy had his toes torn off after getting his shoe caught in an escalator at London Bridge station.

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The boy had been on a day out with his family in London on New Year's Day when the horrifying incident took place.

He is said to have got his Wellington boot caught between a step and the side of an escalator going up to platform 7 at the busy central London station.

His mother tried in vain to find the emergency brake for the escalator, and his father eventually pulled him out of the shoe, the Evening Standard reported.

But his little toe and part of his fourth toe were severed as he came out.

Read more: 'I thought I was going to be trampled to death': London Bridge 'dangerously overcrowded' at rush hour again

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A doctor who happened to be nearby helped to treat the boy, while a station worker found the toes and put them on ice.

But surgeons at St Thomas' Hospital were unable to reattach them.

The Sittingbourne-based family are now taking legal action against Network Rail and are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

The boy's father said: "A lovely family day out ended in absolute disaster for us.

"I am confident our little boy wasn’t doing anything he shouldn’t have been on the escalator, we were right next to him, and it was such a frightening experience to see him suddenly trapped like that."

He added that his son "has been really suffering" and is now "completely terrified of going near any escalators or lifts."

“We felt it was important to speak out about what happened to us, so parents know to be extremely vigilant when travelling around London."

Bolt Burdon Kemp, the lawyers representing the family, claim that the escalator was either not working properly, unsafe because a design flaw, or needed to be repaired.

Network Rail has denied liability and said that the escalator was not faulty, according to the law firm.

Ben Pepper, a senior associate with Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: "This family’s harrowing ordeal really shines a spotlight on the dangers of escalators and particularly the dangers of travelling with children.

"It’s really disappointing to see Network Rail deny liability for this issue and we hope, through our ongoing legal investigation we can identify those features of the escalator that were unsafe, and ensure this tragedy doesn’t happen to anyone else."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of our passengers is always our number one priority and our thoughts are with the young boy and his family at this very difficult time.

“Everyone in Network Rail and particularly the team at London Bridge station are saddened by this incident, however, while the case is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.”