Pictured: Northern Ireland teens dice with death over busy rail line
Worried dad snaps youths walking on top of bridge
Children believed to be as young as 13 have been spotted taking their lives in their hands by walking across the top of a footbridge situated directly above a busy railway line in Northern Ireland
The images were captured by father-of-three Conor Thompson, who watched in horror as the group of teenagers diced with death at the bridge in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on Tuesday.
Mr Thompson, from the town, told this paper that just moments beforehand he had witnessed, from a back garden overlooking the railway line, the children run across the tracks as a train was approaching.
"I decided to stand for a minute and the next thing I saw was them climbing across the bridge," he said.
"I was too scared to shout at them to get them down. I didn't want to scare them and cause them to fall. There were eight of them but only three got up onto the bridge."
The 30-year-old said he was astonished that the youngsters were prepared to put their lives in danger.
"It was unbelievable. It's a 25ft-high bridge, so not too high for winds, and I would say a gust of wind would blow you off," he added.
"I would say they were about 13 or 14 years of age. Young people do hang about that bridge, drinking."
He said he felt compelled to share the pictures on Facebook given the recent tragedy in which three young people died in a crush outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.
"I'm a father of three children. The reason I put it up is to make parents aware," he explained.
"People were outraged, saying 'Where are the parents?' You can't always blame the parents, but hopefully the parents of these young people will see it and make them aware."
"They got down okay. The worrying thing is they were able to access the top of the bridge.
"I know that there's fencing there, but there needs to be something else."
The Department for Infrastructure said it would be carrying out repairs to the bridge's mesh cage and anti-climb measures would be installed in due course. "These measures are currently being fabricated off-site and work on the footbridge is expected to start in April," the department added.
A Translink spokesman said "safety is our top priority" and stressed the body would be working with community representatives to deliver safety awareness sessions next month.