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Man defies death after being sucked onto high-voltage rail line in Britain

Xinhua, November 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

A man convinced he was about to die told for the first time Wednesday how he was sucked onto a high voltage railway line about a year ago in Britain by the power of the electricity.

Chris Dos Santos, 29, from Hampshire in England is still undergoing treatment after his death-defying ordeal.

He admits he is lucky to survive an electric shock when he illegally crossed a railway and fell onto an electrified third rail line that runs along the ground adjacent to the tracks to power electrically-powered trains.

The 750 volt shock sent him into cardiac arrest on the spot. Dos Santos said he thought he was about to die.

The victim said: "I'd been on a lads' day trip to the Isle of Wight and I decided to stay out a bit longer and went and met some mates at the pub which is near a level crossing."

"I walked along the track and fell and landed on the 'third rail'. I received a 750 volt electric shock through my leg and into my body. Because the power is DC (direct current), it actually sucks you to the power source so my leg was stuck to the rail and I couldn't get off," said Dos Santos.

"I then had a cardiac arrest. Three of my friends came and tried to help me but also received a shock. They thought I was going to die. I remember the smell of burning skin. It was awful. I received severe burns to my legs, back and arm. I continued to have cardiac arrests and when I got to hospital they thought they were going to have to amputate my leg."

He agreed to tell his story to help Britain's rail operator Network Rail and British Transport Police to warn of the dangers of people walking onto railway lines.

Dos Santos spent three months in hospital and for months had flashbacks from the accident, and only now, a year later, his life is beginning to improve.

"The accident has continued to affect my mental and physical health. I'm still on crutches and have trouble walking on my leg, and there is still a lot of scarring," he said.

He added: "If I could go back to that night, I would never have walked along the railway. People should understand how dangerous it is. If my story can make just one person more aware of the dangers, then it's worth sharing."

Network Rail spokeswoman Becky Lumlock said: "Chris's story is extreme, but sadly cases like this do happen over the festive period and it shows the dangers of using the railway after having had a lot to drink."

British Transport Police said there have been over 4,000 alcohol related incidents reported over the past five years. Almost half of all incidents on the rail network reported last winter involved alcohol. Endit