Liverpool teen Liam Gill killed in Allerton depot rail line horror A 13-YEAR-OLD boy was electrocuted by a 25,000-volt cable at a Liverpool rail depot.
Liam Gill, from Garston, was thought to have been playing on top of a disused freight train when he was tragically killed yesterday.
Two friends, both 14, suffered burns in the freak accident and were treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
British Transport Police and paramedics were called to the Allerton depot at around 5pm.
St Benedict’s College pupil Liam, nicknamed Dudley or Dudda, lived just 10 minutes walk away.
A BTP spokesman said: “We received reports that three youths had been seen in the depot and had been on the roof of a disused freight train.
“It would appear the boys have come into close proximity with the overhead cable and the electricity arced.
“Sadly, a 13-year-old boy suffered serious burns and died as a result of his injuries.”
BTP Detective Inspector Andrea Rainey told the ECHO: “At the moment we are treating it as a tragic accident.
“The 13-year-old boy sustained fatal injuries and there are no suspicious circumstances at all.
“But there will be an investigation into what actually happened.
“The boy’s family have been told and our thoughts are with all of his relatives and his friends at this sad time.
“British Transport Police work really hard to tell children of the dangers of playing in these environments.”
She added: It’s not a place children should go playing at all.”
Many of Liam’s friends consoled each other as they gathered at the depot last night.
Large groups of young boys and girls could be seen openly sobbing as a black private ambulance arrived at the scene at 7.30pm.
Both of the boys injured in yesterday’s tragedy were expected to need skin grafts.
The scene today remained cordoned off.
The BTP spokesman said the depot was in a large, fenced off area and it is believed the boys climbed through a hole in the fence.
The spokesman said any issues surrounding security at the site were the responsibility of its owner, transport giant DB Schenker.
One local dad said the depot attracted many youths.
Alan Hughes said: “There is a gate to the site. It’s a real tragedy.”
Thomas Parr, of nearby Southmead Road, said: “Lots of kids go on to the site through the Cheshire Lines cricket club to play in the containers.”
One resident said: “I can’t believe this has happened. Not little Liam.
“He was an only boy. It’s just so sad. I only saw him the other day.”
Today Liam's school, St Benedict's College, paid tribute to the youngster, revealing the bright pupil who was top of his class.
Emma-Jane Percy, head of year nine at St Benedict’s Catholic College, said: “Liam was a wonderful bright young man. He was in the top set of year nine, was a brilliant footballer, a friend to many and was always willing to help in times of need.
She added: "Liam will be sadly missed by all staff and pupils at the schools. He will be in our prayers and everybody at St Benedict’s will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
The scene last night remained cordoned off. The boy who died has not been identified.
The BTP spokesman said the depot was in a large, fenced off area.
Investigators were trying to establish where the boys broke in – possibly through a hole in a fence near the Cheshire Lines Recreation Ground, in Southmead Road. THE ECHO Merseyside rail tragedy victims
MERSEYSIDE’S railways have claimed the lives of dozens of children over the years.
Most wandered onto the lines to play with their friends.
John James Brett was with two friends when he died on the line at Bidston Moss in April 1990.
It was believed the 11-year-old from Birkenhead was walking beside the line when he slipped and fell.
Three years later Steve Flannery, nine, died when he was hit by an arc of electricity.
Police thought the nine-year-old, from Fazakerley, and his friends dropped a soft drinks can onto the line.
One child was killed and another badly burned in the same sidings – just five weeks apart in 1995.
Robert Beddingfield, nine, was on top of a freight carriage when he suffered a 25,000 volt blast from an overhead power line.
He received 70% burns in the accident in Edge Hill but survived.
Police believed he was looking for a missing school friend at the time.
Five weeks later Stephen Judge, 14, died in the same sidings.
He was playing on the roof of a burned out railway carriage.
His friends reported seeing a bang and a flash. Paramedics found him dead.
The danger of arcing electricity
THE powerful electricity on railway lines is never switched off.
The current on the overhead power lines is so strong a bolt can jump or arc onto someone even if they avoid touching it.
Similarly, the so-called ‘third rail’ on the tracks is an electricity line so strong that if a person touches it they could never let go.
More than 28 million people trespass on Britain’s railway lines every year and 11 million of those are children under 16.