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Woman fatally struck by tree branch was leaning out of train window labelled with warning sticker



A woman died when she put her head out of a moving train through a window labelled with a warning sticker, an accident report has found.

Bethan Roper, 28, died on the Great Western Railway train near Twerton, Bath, on 1 December.

Her head was out of a window when it was struck by a tree branch while the train travelled at 85mph.

A preliminary report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that a yellow “Caution” label above the door said: “Do not lean out of window when train is moving”.

Rope died in December
Rope died in December

The door had been fitted with an opening window to enable passengers to access the handle, which was on the outside.

She was struck by the branch at 10.04pm and died at Bristol Temple Meads station shortly after 10.10pm.

Miss Roper had been travelling on the London Paddington to Exeter service en route to Penarth, South Wales after a Christmas shopping trip.

She worked for the Welsh Refugee Council charity and was chairman of Young Socialists Cardiff.

Her father, Adrian Roper, 63, released a statement after her death saying his daughter “enjoyed life to the full whilst working tirelessly for a better world”.

In August 2016, railway enthusiast Simon Brown, 24, was killed while leaning out of the window of a Gatwick Express train near Balham, south London. His head hit a signal gantry at 61mph.

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