For the mother it was a nightmare as she managed to get her baby carriage on board the Jerusalem light rail. The train then drove off, leaving mom behind screaming as her child was being distanced from her.
The incident occurred during the evening hours as the train coming from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station direction stopped on Jaffa Street near King George Street. Mom got her baby carriage on board and she settled her 18-month-old in and then went out to get the remainder of her packages. She saw the doors closing and reacted, sticking out her arm to prevent their closure.
One passenger inside the train told Yated Ne’eman “I was inside and realized what is going on and tried to stop it too. We immediately called to the driver on the intercom. We explained the carriage is inside and the mother is locked outside the train. He replied ‘I don’t care. It’s not my problem’.”
The witnesses add that the driver saw the status light indicating the doors were not properly closed. He realized an arm was caught between the doors in the effort to prevent them from closing. He then got on the public address system and instructed the person to remove the arm when the door opens. The witness explains he thought the driver was going to open the doors to permit mom to board but they opened and shut immediately and the train drove off, with the screaming mother outside and her child inside. Passengers were agitated, realizing the pain of the mother, who was understandably hysterical.
Passengers began shouting to stop the train immediately. They called the driver on the intercom but he ignored their shouts.
The train continued until the next stop, City Hall, at which time concerned passenger took the baby carriage to a security official and then passengers demanded that the driver give them his information. He replied “I am not a bus driver and therefore, I don’t have to give my details to anyone”.
“He was not wearing an identification badge so I took his photo. I plan to file an official complaint” concluded one witness quoted by Yated.
Citypass officials confirm the details of the story. Officials acknowledge that the incident should not have occurred as it did and an investigation is promised, adding “the appropriate measures will be taken”. Officials add that due to security considerations, a train may not stop between stations.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)