Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Man 'sucked on to live rail' by current in Totton

Chris Dos Santos in hospital Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Chris Dos Santos said the incident had left him needing eight hospital operations

A man has described how he nearly died after his leg was "sucked" on to an electrified rail by the current.

Chris Dos Santos fell onto the rail while walking on the track at Totton, Hampshire, after drinking with friends.

He said the 750-volt rail "sucked me in" until friends managed to pull him free.

The Health and Safety Executive said an electric shock causes a loss of muscle control meaning the person cannot move away from the power source.

'Purple flashes'

Mr Dos Santos, 29, spent three months recovering in hospital from severe burns and multiple cardiac arrests.

He said the incident in August 2015 had left him suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and nightmares.

Mr Dos Santos recalled seeing purple flashes and smelling burnt body tissue as he lay on the ground.

He said: "The power was so immense, you can't get off the rail. I sort of accepted my fate.

"I had a moment of clarity and then I decided, no, this isn't going to happen to me, and that's when I pushed harder and shouted at my friends."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Dos Santos walked on to the live rail from a level crossing at Totton, Hampshire

Mr Dos Santos said he had needed eight operations for injuries which included a two-inch (5cm) hole in his back.

"My kidneys were failing, they were saying I would have to have the leg amputated, things were very touch and go", he added.

He said he had agreed to speak about the incident to make people aware of the effects of the 750-volt rail.

Network Rail said it was publicising the story because December usually saw a 25% rise in alcohol-related incidents on the railway.

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