Commuters and railway staff teamed up to free a man by rocking a train carriage to free his leg after he became trapped between the platform and a carriage on Wednesday morning. The man was boarding a rush hour train at Stirling station, 9km northwest of Perth, Western Australia, at 8.50am when he slipped and one leg became wedged in the gap. Quick-thinking passengers and staff saved the man's leg, as it was being squeezed by the 90-tonne of train, by collectively rocking the carriage. Read more >>
The cartoon by Mac from the Daily Mail shows a typical middle-aged English business commuter trapped between the platform and a train. His umbrella, briefcase, and glasses lie on the platform and only his head and tie are visible. We are meant to assume that he has fallen into the 'gap' while boarding the train, just like the man in Australia. However, there is only one other person on the platform who can help him: a little old lady with a dog. He asks her, "Excuse me, madam. Did you have a good breakfast this morning?"
The man hopes that if the woman has eaten a good (i.e., substantial) breakfast, she will have enough strength to move the carriage and set him free.
Because some platforms on the London Underground are curved and the rolling stock that uses them are straight, an unsafe gap is created when a train stops at a curved platform. In the absence of a device to fill the gap, some form of visual and auditory warning is needed to advise passengers of the risk of being caught unaware and sustaining injury by stepping into the gap. The phrase "Mind the gap" was chosen for this purpose and can be found painted along the edges of curved platforms as well as heard on recorded announcements played when a train arrives at many Underground stations. (source: Wikipedia)