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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 01:39 GMT
Briton dies in Rome station accident
The scene of the accident at Tiburtina Station, Rome
Paramedics tend to a man seriously injured by the collapsed walkway
A retired British professor has died and an Italian man has been seriously injured when a moving walkway collapsed at a Rome station.

Sarah Marie Baldwin, 63, from York, was crushed in the accident at Tiburtina Station in the north-east of the city.

It is understood railway worker Vincenzo Pratico, who tried to help her, may lose his leg.

Italian police, who have launched an inquiry into the accident, say five panels which had been removed from the walkway during maintenance - but which had not been replaced - will be examined.

Another man, 43-year-old Sandro Oradei, escaped with a bruised hand.

Ms Baldwin's two companions were "extremely shocked," a British Embassy spokeswoman said.

Next of kin

Dozens of people were travelling on the walkway when it collapsed about 1030 local time (0930 GMT).

Ms Baldwin was pulled into the cogwheels of the travellator and died.

Investigators said it appeared the moving stairs had somehow detached from their guiding rails and collapsed.

"The dead woman was in front of me. At one stage, I saw her fall and I was really scared.

"There was a bit of general panic, and only later I realised I had a miraculous escape," a witness said.

All escalators in the busy station were immediately shut down pending an inquiry.

Ms Baldwin was pronounced dead at the scene. The UK Foreign Office said her next of kin had been informed.

The death of Ms Baldwin, who was born in Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, is the second accident to take place at Tiburtina station in recent months.

In May two trains collided and derailed near the station during morning rush-hour.

Tragedy was only avoided because both trains had been travelling slowly and about 10 people were treated for minor injuries.

Trains collide in Rome
14 May 03  |  Europe

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