Edinburgh lecturer ‘watched friend fall to death’ from moving train

Erik Suidman who died after jumping from a moving train in in western India
Erik Suidman who died after jumping from a moving train in in western India

A Ednburgh university lecturer watched his friend plunge to his death from a moving train after the pair realised they were on the wrong train - and decided to jump off.

Fabian Galama, 53, and his Dutch friend Erik Suidman, 51, were travelling by train to Agra on the last leg of a two-week journey in western India on Tuesday.

But the pair mistakenly boarded an Express to New Delhi and decided to jump off the train as it left the platform.

Fabian jumped first and escaped with minor injuries - but Erik suffered fatal head injuries after he lost his balance as he jumped and landed inches from the track.

Fabian, an Art and Design Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “I do not know what happened. It was all of a sudden.

“I jumped off first and then he followed but something went wrong in between. He had his bags with him and the train was rolling.

“It was speeding up and Erik seemed to have lost his balance. He fell just inches away from the tracks. When I picked him up he was bleeding severely.”

The two tourists had flown into New Delhi two weeks ago on a holiday which had taken them across the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.

Fabian said that Agra was to be the last leg of their journey, before they were due to fly home on Saturday, January 6.

He added: “We were waiting for the train in platform 1 and when it chugged in, we asked at least three people if it was going to Agra. All of them replied with a ‘yes’.

“But it was not a local train, it was an Express, so we were confused.

“When we went to look for our window seats, we found them occupied already. It was then that we realised we were on the wrong train.

“As the train was leaving the platform we decided to quickly jump off. “

Erik was rushed to a nearby hospital approximately seven minutes after the accident, but died of his injuries on the way.

The local police have registered the matter and are keeping Erik’s body in a mortuary for a post-mortem examination, before it can be sent back to his home.

Giga Ram, the railway police officer looking into the case, said: “The foreign tourists had arrived in Rajasthan on Monday and were travelling to Agra but wrongly boarded the New Delhi bound train.

“As soon as the Express left the platform, they found that they had boarded a wrong train.

“The two jumped off the train minutes later and Erik suffered fatal head injuries. We are waiting for a post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death.

“The body will be handed over to the embassy after the reports.”