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Three-year-old in narrow escape after falling asleep on train tracks


Three-year-old in narrow escape after falling asleep on train tracks

A three-year-old girl had a narrow escape after a train drove over her as she slept on railway tracks in South Africa's rural Eastern Cape province.

Amahle Sihulufunda had been playing near the railway, by the town of Butterworth, South Africa, with a group of friends on Christmas Day when she wandered off.

She was reported missing by her grandparents, who were looking after her at the time, and a search was launched.

She was spotted by a train driver asleep on the tracks near the village early on Monday morning but he was unable to stop in time.

Amahle’s father Ayanda Sihulu, 32, said he and his wife had rushed back to their village from nearby East London when she was reported missing and joined the search for her on Christmas evening.

“We were so worried and looked for her all night,” he said. “We think she must have been tired and hungry because she was lost so just lay down to rest.

“We don’t think she knew what happened to her really. When she came back to us she was calm. It was a terrible shock for us though. I am never letting her out of my sight again, that’s for sure.”

Captain Jackson Manatha said that thankfully, Amahle was small enough for the train to pass directly over her.

"She had some slight injuries and was found with oil and grease on her," Captain Manatha told South Africa's SAPA news agency.

"She was alive but looked sick as she had slept on the railway line the whole night."

Amahle was taken to Komga Hospital where she was treated and discharged, he said.

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