Home » World News » Schoolboy, 12 killed on train line while trying to film ‘flip the bottle’ video
Schoolboy, 12 killed on train line while trying to film ‘flip the bottle’ video
June 23, 2021
A 12-year-old boy was killed on train tracks after he slipped and fell onto high voltage live lines during a game of "flip the bottle", an inquest heard today.
James Myers was playing the popular bottle game with his friend when he decided to climb up the railings and drop down from a bridge onto the train tracks in Bootle, Merseyside.
Recent rainfall caused the tracks to be slippery and the boy tragically lost his footing on a damp wooden sleeper and stumbled onto the 630-voltage current line.
James was electrocuted and died at the scene on Monday, October 14, 2019.
The boy's heartbroken parents are now demanding answers from Network Rail.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, they said: "We are disappointed Network Rail has never responded to us in any way at all, with no apology or a reply.
"His death has damaged our lives forever, we'll never get to see him grow up, or give us grandchildren, or get married…
"We see kids in the street and we think, what would James be like now?
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"The authorities say those railings are 6ft, but it's much lower, it's just a stepping stone to a 12-year-old. The very next day a friend of James's was back on the line.
"It took Network Rail up to nine months to fix those railings."
An inquest heard how the young boy was attempting the "flip the bottle" challenge which first became popular in 2016.
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The craze involves tossing a bottle with liquid in the air and trying to make it land upright on its base again.
James's bottle was accidentally thrown onto the train line on Monday evening, October 14, 2019.
The young boy reportedly waited for a train to pass and then shimmied up a 6ft railing, getting himself onto a stone ledge above, and dropped down from the overhead metal bridge to reach the tracks, the coroner's office said.
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A slip on a damp wooden sleeper caused him to fall onto live lines, which caused "catastrophic" injuries, Bootle Town Hall heard.
It is understood that James and his friend were intending to "produce a bottle flipping video", which "if successful, [if done on the railway line], would be a little more extreme," Detective Sergeant Ian Henderson said.
The officer stated there had been no serious injuries at the spot for years and said there were a number of obstacles that prevented people from getting on the tracks.
James's friend tragically attempted to remove him from the line by pulling at his clothes and attempted CPR, the inquest heard.
"With that kind of voltage, death is instantaneous, sadly this was a catastrophic fatal injury," coroner Julie Goulding said.
She described James as a "lively young 12-year-old boy, full of adventure and fun, and I'm sure that's how he'll be remembered".
Witnesses said they saw James' friend desperately pleading a man was who was walking past with his dog: he was heard yelling: "Mister, mister, my friend's on the line, don't leave me!"
The cause of death was given as electrocution and a conclusion of accident recorded.