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UPDATE - police investigate whether 17-year-old who suffered 'life-changing injuries' on Ilford rail line was stealing cable

PUBLISHED: 12:21 29 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:05 31 May 2013

Police are investigating whether a 17-year-old from Chadwell Heath who suffered "life-changing injuries" on the Ilford rail line was trying to steal cable.

The teenager is recovering in hospital after falling from a stationary train near Ilford station in Cranbrook Road yesterday morning and receiving an electric shock.

A British Transport Police spokesman confirmed cable theft is a line of enquiry but officers must wait until the man is well enough to speak to them.

Police, ambulance and fire brigade services were called to the scene at 2.42am and the man was found on the line near the station.

The spokesman said: “He’s in hospital at the moment. He’s going to be in for a little while. Until he’s well enough to speak to [officers], we’ll be doing local enquiries.

“But [cable theft] is definitely a line of enquiry.

“His recovery is paramount and he will be spoken to by officers in due course.”

Officers are also looking at CCTV and are speaking to witnesses.

Medics from the East of England Ambulance Service attended and treated the man at the scene for injuries consistent with falling from a height and receiving an electric shock.

Though the exact circumstances of how he was injured are not yet known, it is believed he received the shock from the overhead line as there is no electrified third rail on the Ilford line.

An Ilford firefighter who attended the scene said: “We were called to reports of a track side fire but when we arrived there was a 17-year-old with serious electrical burns.”

Met Police officers also attended and a police helicopter flew over the scene.

The man was taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and has not been arrested.

Anyone who has any information about the incident can contact British Transport Police free on 0800 40 50 40 quoting background reference38 of 28/5/2012.

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