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Train stunt children are dicing with their lives

By Clare Weir

Children in Co Londonderry are risking life and limb by taking foolhardy snaps of oncoming trains as they lie on railway tracks.

The PSNI is warning of another tragedy on the Londonderry to Belfast line and has warned the youths their lives are in danger following the death-defying stunt at picturesque Downhill.

And a local politician has blamed websites for inspiring such dangerous antics and warned that an Ulster youngster could die in the bid for online kudos.

In the last few years there have been a number of fatalities along the route.

Translink said today that they will offer a £1,000 reward to anyone who reports such behaviour.

A NI Railways spokesman said: "We can confirm reports of young people taking photographs while lying on the track at Downhill, Castlerock on August 13 2007.

"We appeal to parents and community leaders the importance of ensuring young people understand the dangers of congregating on or near railway property."

He added that NI Railways is currently running a hard-hitting media safety campaign - Dead Cert - and added that the company's TravelSafe DVD is also available to all community groups and schools.

The spokesman continued: "NI Railways would also remind the public that we will make a cash reward of up to £1,000 to any member of the public who witnesses any incident of trespass."

SDLP East Londonderry MLA John Dallat said that the culprits may be planning to upload their dare onto the internet.

"I have been visiting some of these websites over the past few days and it is horrific what some young people are getting up to, like jumping off roofs and riding cycles through fires," he said.

He added: "Anyone who notices any unauthorised person on the railway track should contact the Translink call centre on 028 9066 6630 or the police immediately."

Belfast Telegraph


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