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Friday, February 24, 2012

London - Hunt for man who pushed woman onto tracks at Leicester Square

Dangerous: The man, in a fit of rage, violently shoves the woman onto the northbound Northern Line track

The attacker risked his victim's life in two ways: She could have been electrocuted by the track's live middle wire, or she could have been hit by an oncoming train

This is the shocking moment a crazed commuter launched an apparently random attack on a woman - pushing her on to the tracks of the London Underground.

The 23-year-old victim struck up a brief conversation with the thug and following a trivial row over the man's hat, he turned and shoved her on to the rails on the Northern Line at Leicester Square.

She only missed the live rail by inches, and was able to pull herself back onto the platform with the help of other travellers before the next train came down the platform.

Injuries to her side were so severe, witnesses initially thought she had been stabbed

The incident - highlighted on the BBC's six-part The Tube documentary on Monday night - shows the very real dangers faced by commuters and staff each day.

British Transport Police are still hunting the man behind the vicious assault, describing him as smartly dressed.

They said the incident stemmed from a short argument about the attacker's hat.

The incident took place on Friday, September 16, at about 11.20pm, but police are so keen to find the man they have re-appealed again for more information on the back of the BBC's documentary.

The woman suffered a wound to her side and was taken to hospital, while both platforms of the Northern Line were shut for the rest of the evening.

BTP Detective Sergeant Fin Egan, the investigating officer, said: 'This was a dangerous and reckless act which could have had grave consequences had a Tube train been approaching.

The victim suffered a nasty cut to her side as she landed on the rails, but was able to pull herself back up onto the platform.

'The platform was busy at that time and I am appealing for anyone who recognises the man in the images or who witnessed the incident to get in contact.'

The man in the images is described as white, aged about 40 with a thin build.
He was wearing a blue shirt, a black jacket and a black wide brimmed hat. He also wore orange/yellow tinted glasses. He spoke with a European accent.

Footage of the aftermath of the incident can been seen in Episode 1 of The Tube, available on BBC iPlayer.

Anyone who knows the man pictured in the image or who has any information about the incident can contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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